TRAILS AI Institute Announces First Round of Seed Funding

February 5, 2024


The Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society (TRAILS) has unveiled an inaugural round of seed grants designed to integrate a greater diversity of stakeholders into the AI development and governance lifecycle, ultimately creating positive feedback loops to improve trustworthiness, accessibility and efficacy in AI-infused systems.

The eight grants announced on Jan. 24, totaling just over $1.5 million–were awarded to interdisciplinary teams of faculty associated with the institute. The projects include developing AI chatbots to assist with smoking cessation, designing animal-like robots to assist caregivers interacting with autistic children, and exploring how users interact with AI-generated language translation systems.

“Seed funding is a critical tool for accelerating new projects and scholarship while deepening connections between institutions,” said Pamela M. Norris, vice provost for research at GW. “The first round of projects funded by TRAILS highlights the institute’s broad range of expertise and its promise of impact on society—from broadening access to health interventions to analyzing the legal and policy implications of AI.”

All eight projects fall under the broader mission of TRAILS, which is to transform AI development from a practice driven primarily by technological innovation to one that is driven by ethics, human rights and input and feedback from communities whose voices have previously been marginalized. Six of these eight projects selected for the first round of TRAILS seed funding involve GW faculty, including associate professor of computer science Adam Aviv.

Read the full article on GW Today.