Readouts from the Columbia Convening on Openness and AI

On February 29, Mozilla and the Columbia Institute of Global Politics brought together over 40 leading scholars and practitioners working on openness and AI. These individuals — spanning prominent open source AI startups and companies, non-profit AI labs, and civil society organizations — focused on exploring what “open” should mean in the AI era. We previously wrote about the convening, why it was important, and who we brought together.

Today, we are publishing two readouts from the convening. 

The first is a technical memorandum that outlines three different approaches to openness in AI, and highlights different components and spectrums of openness. It includes an extensive appendix that outlines key components in the AI stack, and describes how more openness in each component can help advance system and societal goals. Finally, it outlines open questions that would be worthy of future exploration, digging deeper into the specifics of openness and AI. This memorandum will be helpful for technical leaders and practitioners who are shaping the future of AI, so that they can better incorporate principles of openness to make their own AI systems more effective for their goals and more beneficial for society. 

The second is a policy memorandum that outlines how and why policymakers should support openness in AI. It outlines the societal benefits from openness in AI, provides a higher-level overview of how different parts of the AI stack contribute to different opportunities and risks, and lays out a series of recommendations about how policymakers can advance openness in AI. This memorandum will be helpful for policymakers, especially those who are grappling with the details of policy interventions related to openness in AI.

In the coming weeks, we will also be publishing a longer document that goes into greater detail about the dimensions of openness in AI. This will help advance our broader work with partners and allies to tackle complex and important topics around openness, competition, and accountability in AI. We will continue to keep updated with materials stemming from the Columbia Convening on Openness and AI.

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