Mozilla launches $30m start-up to build trustworthy AI

22 Mar 2023

Image: © MichaelVi/

Mozilla has created the new company to build an open-source AI ecosystem, with an initial focus on bringing transparency to generative AI.

As AI reigns as the hot topic in the tech world, Mozilla has launched a new start-up that will focus on developing open-source, trustworthy AI products.

The non-profit has revealed, which has been given an initial funding boost of $30m by the Mozilla Foundation. The new company aims to build a community around making an open-source AI ecosystem.

The start-up said its first focus will be on developing tools that “build safety and transparency into the heart of recommendation systems and generative AI technologies”. The company plans to reveal more details on its products in the coming months.

Mozilla executive director Mark Surman highlighted that new tools such as GPT-4 and Stable Diffusion are reshaping “how we think about the internet”.

“ will be a space outside big tech and academia for like-minded founders, developers, scientists, product managers and builders to gather,” Surman said.

“We believe that this group of people, working collectively, can turn the tide to create an independent, decentralised and trustworthy AI ecosystem – a real counterweight to the status quo.”

The AI start-up will be led by managing director Moez Draief, who has spent more than a decade working on the practical applications of AI.

An initial board of directors has been established for the company, which includes Surman, Harvard’s Prof Karim Lakhani and Credo AI CEO Navrina Singh.

Surman said AI is clearly on track to be “one of the biggest stories of 2023”, with the potential to reshape communication, creativity and “society at large”. He also said this has created a mix of excitement and “significant apprehension”.

“The coming wave of AI has tremendous potential to enrich people’s lives, but it will only do so by putting human agency and the interests of users at the core, and by prioritising transparency and accountability,” Surman said.

“The AI inflection point that we’re in right now offers a real opportunity to build technology with different values, new incentives and a better ownership model. aims to do exactly that.”

This week has seen a new wave of AI developments, such as the launch of Google’s generative AI chatbot Bard in the US and the UK. This model is Google’s response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which exploded in popularity since it launched last November.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic