Senior Fellow: Trustworthy AI
at Mozilla Foundation
Locations:
Remote

[[This opportunity is for a senior level fellowship role. We invite applications from individuals interested in embedding with Mozilla to drive a special project of their own while also plugging into work Mozilla is doing to advance Trustworthy AI. More information about this fellowship.]]

Mozilla exists to protect and promote the Internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all! As a critical part of this mission, the Mozilla Foundation invests in the innovators at the frontlines of working to make the Internet more open, inclusive, decentralized, and secure. Through fellowships and awards, we support these leaders and amplify their important work on issues impacting the health of the internet.

In 2020, Mozilla launched a multi-year strategy focused on advancing Trustworthy AI globally. AI has immense potential to improve our quality of life. But integrating AI into the platforms and products we use every day can equally compromise our security, safety, and privacy. Our research finds that the way AI is currently developed poses distinct challenges to human well-being. Unless critical steps are taken to make these systems more trustworthy, AI runs the risk of deepening existing inequalities.

Our long-term impact goal is: In a world of AI, consumer technology enriches the lives of human beings. Within this broader landscape outlined in our Trustworthy AI Theory of Change and Trustworthy AI White paper, we have chosen to hone in on three areas where we believe we can make real progress: transparency, bias and data stewardship. These are core areas of work that are reflected in our 2021 objectives and three-year narrative arcs. They also drive our day to day work at Mozilla as a part of our internet health movement building efforts.

To contribute to this effort, Mozilla is recruiting Senior Fellows to work alongside staff as we explore how to make trustworthy AI a reality! This fully remote fellowship will give you the opportunity to advance your ongoing work that aligns with an area of focus listed below while also embedding with Mozilla to contribute to  our strategic efforts within this topic area. We’re looking for issue-area specialists who are already doing significant work in these areas and who can maximize this unique fellowship opportunity to amplify that work while also partnering with Mozilla, plugging into - and helping to guide - the work we’re doing to advance Trustworthy AI.

Focus

As part of your application, you will be asked to choose from one of the following topic areas that most closely aligns with your work. Your experience - and the work you’re proposing to do as a Fellow - should be aligned with the goals stated below for that area in line with Mozilla’s Trustworthy AI three-year trajectory:

  • Transparency
    • To create more transparent artificial intelligence systems, AI transparency and documentation best practices need to be created and adopted to guide those who build AI products, the policy makers who regulate them, and the consumers who use them.
  • Bias
    • To increase fairness and reduce bias in AI, more early bias detection tools must be created, tested and widely adopted; fairness promoting policies must be put in place at government and industry levels; and a community of practitioners studying AI through the lens of justice and equality must be nurtured and supported.
  • Data Stewardship
    • To shift the dynamics of data and power, projects that have the potential to disrupt current data economies must be supported and incubated; tools, resources, and standards that can further better data governance must be shared and promoted; and policies that enable data innovation must be developed and implemented.
  • Movement Building
    • To address challenges around AI, interdisciplinary, collective, and intersectional approaches need to be supported, prototyped, and documented, particularly at the intersection of the internet health movement and other movements (e.g. community justice, climate justice, human rights, economic justice, or other social justice movements).
  • Open Source
    • To create better building blocks for trustworthy AI, we need more open source tools, data and approaches that any developer can use, modify and interrogate. Open Source components, projects, and practices - through the transparency, collaboration, and community built in by design - have the potential to equitably redistribute power and fuel the movement for more trustworthy AI.

Responsibilities and Deliverables

Senior Fellows should propose, design, and drive an independent project that advances Mozilla’s goals in one of the five focus areas listed above and leverages the resources and expertise a partnership with Mozilla can provide. This project may be work you’re already doing that would be strengthened or amplified as part of the fellowship, or work that you’ve been building towards, but haven’t yet started. The focus and broader impact of this project should be related to the thematic area of the fellowship. If your application is successful, the project plan you’re proposing will need to be finalized as part of your fellowship contract.

Over the course of the fellowship, you should also expect to help shape Mozilla’s strategic efforts by partnering with Mozilla staff, programs, and community partners on their areas of expertise. You will work closely with Mozilla staff to:

  • Support efforts to situate and guide Mozilla’s work in the ecosystem through peer outreach, documentation, and/or strategic convening.
  • Advise organization wide working groups on bias, transparency, data governance and movement building to support the development of Mozilla’s work on these topics.
  • Help craft Mozilla’s policy positions on key topics and/or advise us on how to advance these policies.
  • Support the design of initiatives that will engage, fund, and grow important work on these topics.
  • Convene, facilitate, or curate networks as appropriate and integrate these into core programming like MozFest.
  • Broaden the conversation about the given topic with specific audiences (i.e. media, community, policy, etc).
  • Provide communications guidance and thought leadership as a representative of Mozilla in the given space.
  • Document and share knowledge internally at Mozilla and externally with the broader ecosystem.

Fellowship Criteria

Information about the application and selection process for this fellowship can be found here.

Your application and proposed project should demonstrate:

  • Experience + Impact
    • proven impact in the thematic area for which you’re applying
    • an in-depth understanding of, technical expertise in, or background related to the thematic area(s) in which you’re applying
    • a tightly defined independent project proposal that shows a deep understanding of what it means to inspire change at a systemic level
  • Collaboration + Communication
    • a keen understanding of the ecosystem related to the topic area, strong reach in their communities, and a network of partners and collaborators in the given field
    • experience working in interdisciplinary, collective, and/or intersectional ways to make progress toward a shared goal
    • the ability to work on diverse and geographically distributed teams and across cultures
    • the ability to communicate complex issues to a broad audience
    • experience in public speaking and presenting your work in conference settings
  • Leadership + Initiative
    • a facilitative leadership style and demonstrated skills in community building
    • an intersectional approach that recognises different identities and realities, acknowledges the way those are interconnected, and the ways in which power impacts those interactions, or power relates to those interconnections
    • the ability to work in a self-directed manner to achieve agreed goals and outcomes
    • experience working virtually with a high level of autonomy
  • Commitment to Open
    • knowledge and examples of open documentation and collaborative approach to research/project build
    • a commitment to working towards a healthy, open internet - and to open source as a way to shift power to be more equitable

Compensation and Benefits

Fellowships fall outside of Mozilla’s staff compensation program. All Fellows receive a competitive stipend and benefits to support healthcare, mental wellness, and child care. Fellowship compensation is considered a contribution for the benefit of an individual to aid in the pursuit of that individual’s own study or research, and may be higher or lower than a local market.

The Mozilla Foundation is dedicated to fair and equitable compensation. As part of our commitment to equity, we are currently reviewing compensation systems across the organization, and that includes fellowship stipends.  We are also working towards greater transparency and hope to make more information available in the future. We are happy to answer individual questions about the fellowship stipend and benefits during the interview process. 

Benefits

All fellows receive benefits to support healthcare, mental wellness, and child care. If you are located in the U.S. or Canada, you would be added to Mozilla’s healthcare plan and global benefits programs. If outside those jurisdictions, you would receive compensation to cover benefits (such as healthcare, mental health, and child care) in your salary rate.

Details about benefits specific to your location can be discussed in the interview process if your application is successful.

Project/Travel Supplement

Fellows also receive a project/travel budget supplement of up to $20,000 USD to offset expenses in connection with pursuit of their independent project. The amount of the project/travel budget must be agreed with your Program Officer, and is intended to be used for project work that is for public benefit and not for the primary benefit of Mozilla.

Timeline

Part-time/Full-time, fixed term.

A fellowship may be proposed for a duration from 6 months up to a maximum of 2 years. The timeline proposed for the fellowship should be consistent with the proposed timeline for your fellowship project.

Part-time and full-time fellowship commitments are invited, especially where a part-time arrangement gives you an opportunity to serve without stepping away from current ongoing professional or personal commitments. Part-time is considered 50% time. Compensation and benefits are adjusted for part-time fellowships.

Eligibility and Requirements

All applications must be received by 2pm PDT on October 25, 2021.

All applications must be in English.

Mozilla Foundation Engagement Practices

Mozilla understands that valuing diverse creative practices and forms of knowledge are crucial to and enrich our core mission. We encourage applications from everyone, including members of all equity-seeking communities, such as (but certainly not limited to) women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in this application or interview process, to perform essential functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges. Please contact us to request accommodation at accommodation@mozillafoundation.org.

Additionally, we require all participants in Mozilla’s Fellowships and Awards programs to agree and adhere to our community participation guidelines.

Group: C

#LI-REMOTE

Why Mozilla?

At Mozilla, we’re serving humanity—by maintaining a safe, open internet—while also helping the individual humans employed here to reach their personal and professional goals. With a relatively small team serving hundreds of millions of people, a culture of exploration, and a commitment to mentorship, opportunities abound to learn and grow at Mozilla.


Our values drive our actions

  • Purpose is built into our work, with our mission driving every decision
  • We challenge assumptions, the status quo, ourselves, and each other
  • We are transparent: in our code, our business partnerships, and our everyday interactions
  • We seek out people from diverse backgrounds and with perspectives different from our own
  • We pair purpose with performance and put people ahead of profit

Our impact is global

  • 700+ paid staff from over 30 countries
  • Thousands of volunteer contributors across six continents
  • 9 global offices: Mountain View, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, London, Berlin, and Beijing
  • Hundreds of home offices globally

Our benefits are world-class

  • Flexible work environment (nearly half of Mozillians work remotely)
  • Industry-leading paid parental leave (up to 26 weeks of fully paid leave for childbearing parents and up to 12 weeks for non-childbearing parents)
  • Reimbursement for professional development (up to $3,000/year)
  • A work setup including the latest hardware and software of your choice