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Google partners with NSF to fund human-AI research initiative

A new institute will study how humans and AI working together can make better decisions than either on their own.

Google Is supporting a new AI initiative with both money and resources.
Angela Lang/CNET

Google on Wednesday announced a $5 million grant and partnership with the US National Science Foundation to create a National AI Research Institute for Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration. Beyond funding the initiative, Google also said it will provide expertise in the field of artificial intelligence, collaborate on research and offer cloud computing support for researchers and educators working with the program.

In the blog post announcing the partnership, Google says studies have suggested that AI systems and humans working together make better decisions than either of them acting alone. "People and AI systems shape each other," reads the post, "and in order to realize the full potential of AI for social benefit, positive and productive human-AI interaction and collaboration is critical."

Earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called for more government regulation of AI in an op-ed for the Financial Times, just months after the company faced widespread public backlash for reportedly collecting health data on millions of Americans to help develop a medical AI program.

This also comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and China, as the two countries race to develop cutting-edge AI.