Call for Proposals: Artificial Intelligence Activities Fund

ACM SIGAI invites funding proposals for artificial intelligence (AI) activities with a strong outreach component to either students, researchers, or practitioners not working on AI technologies or to the public in general.

The purpose of this call is to promote a better understanding of current AI technologies, including their strengths and limitations, as well as their promise for the future. Examples of fundable activities include (but are not limited to) AI technology exhibits or exhibitions, holding meetings with panels on AI technology (including on AI ethics) with expert speakers, creating podcasts or short films on AI technologies that are accessible to the public, and holding AI programming competitions. ACM SIGAI will look for evidence that the information presented by the activity will be of high quality, accurate, unbiased (for example, not influenced by company interests), and at the right level for the intended audience.

ACM SIGAI has set aside $10,000 to provide grants of up to $2,000 each, with priority given to a) proposals from ACM affiliated organizations other than conferences (such as ACM SIGAI chapter or ACM chapters), b) out-of-the-box ideas, c) new activities (rather than existing and recurring activities), d) activities with long-term impact, e) activities that reach many people, and f) activities co-funded by others. We prefer not to fund activities for which sufficient funding is already available from elsewhere or that result in profit for the organizers. Note that expert talks on AI technology can typically be arranged with financial support of the ACM Distinguished Speaker program ( and then are not appropriate for funding via this call.

A proposal should contain the following information on at most 3 pages:

  • a description of the activity (including when and where it will be held);
  • a budget for the activity and the amount of funding requested, and whether other organizations have been or will be approached for funding (and, if so, for how much);
  • an explanation of how the activity fits this call (including whether it is new or recurring, which audience it will benefit, and how large the audience is);
  • a description of the organizers and other participants (such as speakers) involved in the activity (including their expertise and their affiliation with ACM SIGAI or ACM);
  • a description of what will happen to the surplus in case there is, unexpectedly, one; and
  • the name, affiliation, and contact details (including postal and email address, phone number, and URL) of the corresponding organizer.

Grantees are required to submit reports to ACM SIGAI following completion of their activities with details on how they utilized the funds and other information which might also be published in the ACM SIGAI newsletter “AI Matters.”

The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on March 15, 2019 (UTC-12). Proposals should be submitted as pdf documents in any style at

The funding decisions of ACM SIGAI are final and cannot be appealed. Some funding earmarked for this call might not be awarded at the discretion of ACM SIGAI, for example, in case the number of high-quality proposals is not sufficiently large. In case of questions, please first check the ACM SIGAI blog for announcements and clarifications: Questions should be directed to Sven Koenig (


ACM brings together computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field’s challenges. As the world’s largest computing society, ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM’s reach extends to every part of the globe, with more than half of its 100,000 members residing outside the U.S.  Its growing membership has led to Councils in Europe, India, and China, fostering networking opportunities that strengthen ties within and across countries and technical communities. Their actions enhance ACM’s ability to raise awareness of computing’s important technical, educational, and social issues around the world. See for more information.

ACM SIGAI brings together academic and industrial researchers, practitioners, software developers, end users, and students who are interested in AI. It promotes and supports the growth and application of AI principles and techniques throughout computing, sponsors or co-sponsors AI-related conferences, organizes the Career Network and Conference for early-stage AI researchers, sponsors recognized AI awards, supports AI journals, provides scholarships to its student members to attend conferences, and promotes AI education and publications through various forums and the ACM digital library. See for more information.

Sven Koenig, ACM SIGAI chair
Sanmay Das, ACM SIGAI vice-chair
Rosemary Paradis, ACM SIGAI secretary/treasurer
Michael Rovatsos, ACM SIGAI conference coordination officer
Nicholas Mattei, ACM SIGAI AI and society officer

Follow the Data

The Ethical Machine — Big Ideas for Designing Fairer AI and Algorithms – is a “project that presents ideas to encourage a discussion about designing fairer algorithms” of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. The November 27, 2018, publication is “Follow the Data! Algorithmic Transparency Starts with Data Transparency” by Julia Stoyanovich and Bill Howe. Their focus is local and municipal governments and NGOs that deliver vital human services in health, housing, and mobility. In the article, they give a welcome emphasis on the role of data instead of the common focus these days on just algorithms. They write, “data is used to customize generic algorithms for specific situations—that is to say that algorithms are trained using data. The same algorithm may exhibit radically different behavior—make different predictions; make a different number of mistakes and even different kinds of mistakes—when trained on two different data sets. In other words, without access to the training data, it is impossible to know how an algorithm would actually behave.” See their article for more discussion on designing systems for data transparency.

US and European Policy
Adam Eisgrau, ACM Director of Global Policy and Public Affairs, published an update on the ACM US and Europe Policy Committees in the November 29 ACM MemberNetKey points are