Huan Xu, Pratrap Tokekar (CS/UMIACS), Jordan Boyd-Graber (CMNS), Fabrizio Cariani (ARHU), Marine Carpuat (CMNS), Joel Chan (INFO), John Dickerson (CMNS), Sheena Erete (INFO), Eric Hoover (HESP), Furong Huang (CMNS), Hernisa Kacorri (INFO), Jing Liu (EDUC), Eric Pacuit (ARHU), Susannah Paletz (INFO), Huaishu Peng (CMNS), Louiqa Raschid (BMGT), Debra Shapiro (BMGT), Ido Sivan-Sevilla (INFO), Hal Dumé III, PI (CS), Vanessa Frías-Martínez, Co-PI (INFO), John Horty, Co-PI (Philosophy), Katie Shilton, Co-PI (INFO)

Funding Agency

University of Maryland




Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents tremendous opportunities for improving the lives of billions of people in areas including healthcare, education, transportation, and communication — to name just a few. However, AI solutions that address societal problems in high-stakes settings cannot be developed in isolation. These technologies need to be designed and evaluated within the contexts in which they will be deployed, and respect the human norms, values, and societal expectations that govern those contexts.

The goal of our center is to promote the development of AI in a way that is not only ethical, but that advances human well-being more generally. The center will focus on development of the tools, theories, and practices needed to ensure that AI applications are transparent, fair and trustworthy, support human creativity, and facilitate privacy – in short, that they respect human values.

To accomplish this, the center will bring together under one roof a community of researchers in three main areas:
(1) AI proper, to develop new technology that pushes the boundary of what is possible and is also responsive to relevant human concerns,
(2) Philosophy, to develop formal tools for representing and reasoning substantively about values, and
(3) Human-Computer Interaction, to better adapt AI systems to people.

Beginning with use-cases in areas such as education, transportation, healthcare, communication, accessibility, teaming, and sensemaking, we will also collaborate with domain experts and stakeholders in these fields. The center aims to have local, national, and international impact by working to change the practice of AI innovation from a technology-centered approach to a values-centered approach, combining top-down ethical considerations and bottom-up community insights. This new approach is novel in the world and has the potential to transform the practice of AI globally.

Partners include the Army Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology