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Building Corporate Infrastructure to Support Human Rights Organizations

Project Scope

AAAS will engage, guide and incentivize technology companies in their efforts to build corporate pro bono programs that support AI-based technologies for human rights. These efforts will be grounded in the social responsibilities of scientists and engineers, as well as the opportunities and challenges involved in applying science and technology to human rights, two areas in which AAAS has deep experience.

For several decades, AAAS has recognized the need for a culture of service in science and developed projects that aim to build and support that culture. Through the On-call Scientists initiative, AAAS provides a way for human rights practitioners to connect with scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are well-suited for their projects and also provides volunteers with opportunities to apply their expertise in ways that are immediately and urgently needed. AAAS supports these experts through training, guidelines, and facilitation. We help ensure that the projects are truly meeting the needs of the NGOs and that the volunteers fully understand their responsibilities as partners, including awareness of the power imbalances that often arise in such partnerships.

AAAS seeks to apply the successes and lessons learned through On-call Scientists to institutionalize pro bono programs in companies that are developing new applications of AI technologies. This approach will develop the technical capacity of the social justice organizations involved in the initiative while simultaneously cultivating the corporations’ understanding of their social responsibilities as developers of AI.

This project is supported by the Ford Foundation.

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