This year we’ve seen tech companies racing to release their hottest new AI systems, and often neglecting safety and ethics. The AI scientists on this year's innovators list are more aware than ever of the harm the technology can pose, and are determined to fix it. To do that, they’re pioneering new methods that are helping to shift the way the AI industry thinks about safety.
Sharon Li, pictured above and our Innovator of the Year, is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She created a remarkable AI safety feature called out-of-distribution detection. This feature helps AI models determine if they should abstain from action when faced with something they weren’t trained on. This is crucial as AI systems are rolled out from the lab and encounter new situations in the messy real world.
Irene Solaiman, global public policy director at Hugging Face, developed an approach that calls for tech companies to release new models in phases, allowing more time to test them for failures and build in guardrails.
Many of our innovators are working to fight climate change. I was delighted to see so many people on the list using their skills in AI to tackle the biggest problem facing humanity, either by helping the AI community track and lower its emissions or by using AI to mitigate emissions in highly polluting industries.
Sasha Luccioni, an AI researcher at startup Hugging Face, has developed a better way for tech companies to estimate and measure the carbon footprint of AI language models.
Catherine De Wolf of ETH Zurich is using AI to help reduce emissions and the waste of materials in the construction industry.
Alhussein Fawzi of DeepMind developed game-playing AI to speed up fundamental computations, which helps to cut costs and save energy on devices.
This year’s innovators are also working on practical applications of AI that illustrate how the technology could become more and more useful. They’re coming up with exciting new ways to use it to boost scientific research and build helpfu...