The Data Futures Lab’s new Infrastructure Fund will provide awards of up to $50,000 for tools that fuel a more fair data economy
(SAN FRANCISCO | WEDNESDAY, JULY 12) – The vast data ecosystem that underpins today’s internet — and, increasingly, much of society — is far from equitable. It’s an ecosystem that’s plagued by bias, opacity, and centralization.
As AI systems become increasingly ubiquitous, it is imperative that we interrogate and demystify the datasets that support these systems and claim to represent us.
That’s why today, Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab is launching the Infrastructure Fund.
This new fund will support projects that are creating or scaling building blocks for a more trustworthy and equitable data ecosystem – one where the datasets are detoxified and address issues of privacy, security, bias, ethics, and agency. Its goal: To create a comprehensive library of open-source technical components that developers need to build better data platforms.
Successful applicants might be creating tools that detect bias in datasets or improve anonymization of data; applications that provide better-informed consent management; projects that enable individuals to better exercise their GDPR or CCPA rights; or initiatives that support data donation in the public interest. (These are examples, not an exhaustive list.)
Says Lisa Gutermuth, Program Officer at Mozilla: "There are ambitious people and projects striving to fix the data economy; to ensure it creates a positive impact for all of society, not just a handful of tech corporations. But this work needs further investment and community building to succeed — that’s where the Infrastructure Fund comes in."
There are ambitious people and projects striving to fix the data economy; to ensure it creates a positive impact for all of society, not just a handful of tech corporations. But this work needs further investment and community building to succeed — that’s where the Infrastructure Fund comes in
Lisa Gutermuth, Program Officer at Mozilla
The Infrastructure Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 each. Projects in the idea phase are eligible for up to $10,000; projects in the development or testing phase are eligible for up to $25,000; and projects that have been launched and are in use are eligible for up to $50,000.
Winning applicants will join a roster of like-minded Mozilla Fellows and Awardees, like Mozilla Technology Fund awardee Evaluation Harness, an open-source tool for evaluating large language models, and Senior Fellow in Trustworthy AI Bogdana Rakova, who is exploring the use of computational contracts to enable new modes of interactions between people and consumer tech companies.
In addition to financial resources, awardees will have opportunities to connect with our communities of open-source developers, Mozilla fellows and awardees, and others working on data stewardship challenges. And, they can expect amplification of their work through Mozilla channels, including MozFest, Mozilla communications, social media, and marketing.
Letters of interest (LOIs) will be accepted until August 31, 2023. For more information on eligibility and to apply, visit this site.