The Mozilla Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. In 2017, she launched an open-source initiative: “The Internet Health Report”, which aims to document and analyze the health of the internet based on various studies from multiple sources. This year, the report focuses on a single critical issue for the internet and humanity: artificial intelligence.

AI is part of our everyday life, but as happened for the internet, the GAFAMs as well as some rich and powerful people are increasing their grip on AI to increase their profits.

The Foundation recalls the dangers of discrimination and surveillance that automation brings, and an over-reliance on it when making decisions with huge consequences, but also the fact that champions claim there is a better way, the potential of Build, use and understand AI.

“Who has power over AI? », « Who transfers this power? are the central questions of this report, to which more than 150 people have contributed over several months. They drew on the extensive work of Mozilla Foundation staff, grantees, and grantees to find more trustworthy AI in products, policies, and programming.


In addition to the 2022 report, Mozilla explores a wide range of topics, including surveillance, labor, healthcare, geospatial data, and social media misinformation, in five biweekly podcasts. 19 people from a dozen different countries will participate.

Who has power over AI?

Across industries, companies are turning to AI to collect and analyze data to tailor their offerings. Those with enough resources to invest in AI have a competitive advantage. Meanwhile, countries with access to big data and high computing power are consolidating their software and hardware dominance, impacting the way AI is deployed around the world.

When it comes to private investment in AI, the US dominates. Next comes China, the UK, Israel, Germany, Canada, France and then India.

Use different datasets

The cost of training machine learning systems has fallen and data availability is greater. However, the report’s authors were able to see that these are the same datasets from just a few countries that are most commonly used to assess the performance of machine learning models around the world.

Thus, more than half of the data sets used to benchmark AI performance in more than 26,000 research papers came from just 12 recognized institutions and technology companies in the United States, Germany and Hong Kong-China.

The report points out that a large, frequently reused dataset does not guarantee better machine learning than a smaller, purpose-built dataset. On the contrary, it often reflects the racist, sexist stereotypes of the internet content it was trained on.

The companies that will benefit the most from AI are arguably the largest technology companies in the world. Their earnings have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, most notably Microsoft’s in 2021, and some of them are now among the richest companies in the world.

They influence Internet users by recommending publications, buying products, etc.

more transparency

According to the Digital Rights Ranking “ There is little or no transparency into how companies test and deploy algorithmic systems and use our personal data, including in relation to curation, recommendation and ranking.”

Recommender systems determine which social media feeds users access and which content is rewarded with ad revenue. In a crowdsourced YouTube study by Mozilla, 71% of videos that people said they “regret” watching said they were recommended by an algorithm.

Advertising and social media can be used to spread propaganda and misinformation. In the absence of transparency and collaboration with researchers, a global industry of clandestine messaging companies and organizations thrives.

How do you build trust?

New methods and techniques to maintain privacy, record lineage of data, ensure AI ethics, audit algorithms, and empower users are among the many pitfalls being considered.

To achieve this, cooperation is necessary. With this report and the accompanying podcasts and stories, Mozilla is urging technology developers and policymakers to start the conversation and take action.

Sources of the article:

The 2022 Internet Health Report.

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