Mozilla Announces $225,000 for Art and Advocacy Exploring Artificial Intelligence

Mozilla’s latest awards will support people and projects that examine the effects of AI on society


At Mozilla, one way we support a healthy internet is by fueling the people and projects on the front lines — from grants for community technologists in Detroit, to fellowships for online privacy activists in Rio.

Today, we are opening applications for a new round of Mozilla awards. We’re awarding $225,000 to technologists and media makers who help the public understand how threats to a healthy internet affect their everyday lives.


Specifically, we’re seeking projects that explore artificial intelligence and machine learning. In a world where biased algorithms, skewed data sets, and broken recommendation engines can radicalize YouTube users, promote racism, and spread fake news, it’s more important than ever to support artwork and advocacy work that educates and engages internet users.

These awards are part of the NetGain Partnership, a collaboration between Mozilla, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation. The goal of this philanthropic collaboration is to advance the public interest in the digital age.

What we’re seeking

We’re seeking projects that are accessible to broad audiences and native to the internet, from videos and games to browser extensions and data visualizations.

We will consider projects that are at either the conceptual or prototype phases. All projects must be freely available online and suitable for a non-expert audience. Projects must also respect users’ privacy.

In the past, Mozilla has supported creative media projects like:

Data Selfie, an open-source browser add-on that simulates how Facebook interprets users’ data.

Chupadados, a mix of art and journalism that examines how women and non-binary individuals are tracked and surveilled online.

Paperstorm, a web-based advocacy game that lets users drop digital leaflets on cities — and, in the process, tweet messages to lawmakers.

Codemoji, a tool for encoding messages with emoji and teaching the basics of encryption.

*Privacy Not Included, a holiday shopping guide that assesses the latest gadgets’ privacy and security features.

Details and how to apply

Mozilla is awarding a total of $225,000, with individual awards ranging up to $50,000. Final award amounts are at the discretion of award reviewers and Mozilla staff, but it is currently anticipated that the following awards will be made:

Two $50,000 total prize packages ($47,500 award + $2,500 MozFest travel stipend)

Five $25,000 total prize packages ($22,500 award + $2,500 MozFest travel stipend)

Awardees are selected based on quantitative scoring of their applications by a review committee and a qualitative discussion at a review committee meeting. Committee members include Mozilla staff, current and alumni Mozilla Fellows, and — as available — outside experts. Selection criteria are designed to evaluate the merits of the proposed approach. Diversity in applicant background, past work, and medium are also considered.

Mozilla will accept applications through August 1, 2018, and notify winners by September 15, 2018. Winners will be publicly announced on or around MozFest, which is held October 26-28, 2018.


Update, June 25, 2018: An optional webinar was held for applicants on Monday, June 18, 2018. Mozilla staff members presented additional information about this awards track, provided additional project examples, and answered pre-submitted questions from attendees. You can access the slides here and watch the recording on either YouTube or AirMozilla.

Brett Gaylor is Commissioning Editor at Mozilla

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