Deadline for applications is 31st July, 2023, at 5:00 pm.
Mozilla is offering grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 USD for individuals and organizations conducting research on the impact of AI on communities in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The aim is to explore the intersections between AI and social justice in various contexts, such as human rights, economic justice, racial justice, community justice, gender justice, disability justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and environmental justice. The research can focus on one country, a comparative analysis of multiple countries, or a study of the entire region.
Eligible applicants based in Africa, with experience or collaboration in AI and digital technology research, can apply for this funding opportunity.
Importance of Digital Technology Research
The importance of digital technology research cannot be overstated in today’s rapidly evolving world. Here are some key reasons why digital technology research holds immense significance:
- Advancing Innovation: Digital technology research drives innovation by uncovering new possibilities, improving existing technologies, and creating cutting-edge solutions. It helps us push the boundaries of what is possible, leading to advancements that can transform various industries and improve quality of life.
- Enhancing Efficiency: Research in digital technology enables the development of more efficient processes and systems. It streamlines workflows, automates repetitive tasks, and optimizes resource utilization, leading to increased productivity across sectors.
- Solving Real-World Challenges: Digital technology research addresses critical real-world challenges, such as healthcare, climate change, education, and poverty alleviation. It empowers us to develop targeted solutions and address complex problems more effectively.
- Improving Connectivity: With the rise of the digital age, interconnectedness has become crucial. Digital technology research focuses on improving connectivity and expanding access to information, resources, and services, bridging gaps between regions and communities.
- Ensuring Cybersecurity: As our dependence on digital systems grows, so does the need for robust cybersecurity measures. Research in this field helps identify vulnerabilities, develop secure protocols, and protect individuals, organizations, and governments from cyber threats.
- Fostering Economic Growth: Digital technology research plays a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth. It drives the development of new industries, creates job opportunities, and attracts investments in technological advancements.
- Personalizing Experiences: Digital technology research enables the personalization of products and services, tailoring experiences to individual preferences and needs. This personalization enhances user satisfaction and engagement.
- Facilitating Communication: The internet and digital communication platforms have revolutionized how we connect with others. Research in digital technology continuously improves communication tools, making them more accessible, efficient, and inclusive.
- Encouraging Education and Lifelong Learning: Digital technology research has transformed education by providing online learning platforms, interactive tools, and educational resources. It allows people to access knowledge and acquire new skills at their own pace.
- Ethical Considerations: As technology increasingly impacts society, ethical implications become vital. Digital technology research explores the ethical dimensions of technology use, ensuring that advancements are aligned with societal values and respect privacy and human rights.
In conclusion, digital technology research drives progress, empowers us to tackle global challenges, and enhances the way we live, work, and communicate. It is a catalyst for positive change and a key driver in shaping a more technologically advanced and equitable future.
Benefits of the Mozilla Grant:
- Financial Support: Grant recipients will receive funding ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 USD to support their research on the impact of AI on communities in Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Cohort Participation: Successful applicants will join a cohort of researchers, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange to inform Mozilla’s Africa Innovation Mradi’s movement building initiatives.
- Advancing Social Justice: Research funded by the grant will contribute to a better understanding of the intersections between AI and social justice, addressing concerns related to human rights, economic justice, racial justice, community justice, gender justice, disability justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and environmental justice.
- Flexibility in Research Focus: The grant allows for various research approaches, including regional studies, case studies in individual countries, or comparative analyses involving multiple countries within the region.
- Geographic Location: Applicants must be individuals, networks, or not-for-profit organizations based in Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Research Focus: Applicants should have a clear focus on research related to social justice and its relationship with AI and digital technology in Africa.
- Experience and Collaboration: Applicants should demonstrate experience or collaboration with partners engaged in AI and digital technology research in Africa.
- Familiarity with Context: A strong understanding of national or regional contexts and a clear articulation of the social justice issue and selected research priority is required.
- Engagement with Communities: Applicants must specify a social group or community of focus and outline a plan for engaging with them regarding the selected research issue.
- Methodology and Impact: A well-defined research plan with a clear methodology and anticipated impact, along with a detailed budget, is essential.
- Legal Eligibility: Applicants must be legally able to receive funds in the form of grants from the Mozilla Foundation, a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Prior Experience Sharing Research: Although not mandatory to be technology, internet governance, or digital rights experts, applicants should have some experience in sharing research, be it through journals, blogs, newspapers, or websites.
- New Collaborations: Mozilla is particularly interested in reaching individuals, networks, and organizations with whom they have not previously worked.
Overall, this grant opportunity offers a valuable chance for researchers in Eastern and Southern Africa to advance their understanding of AI’s impact on social justice and contribute to Mozilla’s innovation initiatives on the African continent.
AI’s impact on social justice can be significant. On one hand, AI has the potential to address social inequalities by improving access to services, reducing bias in decision-making processes, and enhancing data-driven policy-making.
However, it can also exacerbate existing disparities, like perpetuating bias in algorithms or widening the digital divide.
Impact of AI’s on the African Continent
Regarding innovation initiatives on the African continent, AI can play a crucial role in several ways. It can enhance healthcare by enabling early disease detection, provide better agricultural solutions through precision farming, and facilitate financial inclusion by offering innovative banking and payment systems. Additionally, AI-driven solutions can improve education, transportation, and infrastructure, boosting overall economic development and welfare.
However, to harness AI’s potential for social justice and innovation in Africa, there’s a need for ethical considerations, data privacy protection, and investments in education and infrastructure to ensure equitable access to AI technologies.
How To Apply
Interested and qualified candidate should,
Deadline for applications is 31st July, 2023, at 5:00 pm.