Wellcome Trust, Cloudera Foundation and Omidyar Network join forces with Nesta to fund grants supporting human and AI collaboration
Nesta, the UK-based innovation foundation that backs bold ideas to change the world, has secured support from a varied group of global funders for the second round of its grants supporting experiments in collective intelligence, which was named as one of the top issues to watch for 2019 by the European Parliament.
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Nesta defines collective intelligence as something that is created when people work together, often with the help of technology, to mobilise a wider range of information, ideas and insights to address a challenge. The grants will support people who want to experiment to push the boundaries of existing practice and knowledge in the field.
Following the success of the first round of grants and, showing an increasing interest in the field of collective intelligence, Nesta has been joined in supporting the fund by the Wellcome Trust, Cloudera Foundation, and Omidyar Network. This means Nesta can double the size of the funding pot for the second round to £500,000, with individual grants now available up to £30,000.
The first round of 12 grants, totalling £250,000 were made in April 2019 and are supporting the combination of human and machine knowledge to solve social challenges. They range from prosecuting possible war criminals, to enabling citizens to participate in policy-making and tackling humanitarian crises following natural disasters.
Among the ideas funded in the current round are an experiment from CitizenLab in Belgium testing how machine-learning can be used to translate unstructured human discussions online into meaningful policy proposals. This could help citizens use digital democracy platforms to greater effect and increase the uptake of public ideas by policy makers.
San Francisco-based Unanimous AI is testing whether algorithms modelled on the swarm behaviour of bees and fish can help find consensus among conflicting groups. These new forms of decision-making could one day replace our tradition forms of voting, and aid the search for solutions to divisive debates like Brexit.
The fund is open for applications until Friday 25th October 2019 through the Nesta website at https://www.nesta.org.uk/project/collective-intelligence-grants/
Kathy Peach, Head of Nesta’s Centre of Collective Intelligence Design, said:
“While the field of collective intelligence is currently less well-known than artificial intelligence, we don’t believe that will remain the case for long. It is a paradox of our time that while we have built smarter technologies, in many ways our systems and societies have become more stupid.
“Funders who want to solve the complex global challenges of our time from climate change to fake news will recognise the urgency of making progress in how we, as humans, understand, think and act together. Collective intelligence is about combining the best of human and machine intelligence to do that.”
Claudia Juech, CEO of Cloudera Foundation, said:
“Addressing today’s global challenges requires developing new tools and approaches beyond what we previously thought possible. The Cloudera Foundation is therefore thrilled to partner with Nesta's Centre for Collective Intelligence Design program to seed ambitious experiments exploring how to combine human wisdom and computational insights in bold new ways.”
Press contact - Will Hoyles, 07812 362714, [email protected]
Nesta_Press [email protected]
Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society. We've spent over 20 years working out the best ways to make change happen through research and experimenting, and we've applied that to our work in innovation policy, health, education, government innovation and the creative economy and arts. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.
About Wellcome Trust
Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. We support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research. We are a politically and financially independent foundation.
About Cloudera Foundation
Cloudera Foundation is a Silicon Valley-based private philanthropy established by Cloudera, Inc., the enterprise data cloud company. The foundation works to enable nonprofits worldwide to use advanced data analytics and machine learning to improve people’s lives and protect the planet. We collaborate with grantees to build their data engineering capacity through direct access to technology, data expertise and long-term technical support. Our multi-year partnerships allow nonprofits to establish infrastructure and develop technical capabilities to scale and sustain their high-impact work.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network uses the transformative power of people, markets, and technology to drive empowerment and accelerate solutions equal to today’s challenges. Established in 2004 by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, our efforts focus on society’s most pressing issues. We seek to create a more equitable economy, promote responsible technology, and discover emergent issues that will shape our future. To date, we have committed nearly $1.5 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations.