Facebook on Thursday announced the winners of the Ethics in AI Research Initiative for the Asia Pacific, an initiative to help support thoughtful and ground-breaking academic research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics.

Among the winners from nine different countries is Junaid Qadir, a professor at the Information Technology University of the Punjab, along with co-investigator Amana Raquib, an assistant professor at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.

“The latest advancements in AI bring transformational changes to society, but at the same time an array of complex ethical questions that must be closely examined. At Facebook, we believe our understanding of AI should be informed by research conducted in open collaboration with the community. That’s why we’re keen to support independent academic research institutions in APAC to pursue interdisciplinary research in AI ethics that will enable ongoing dialogue on these important issues in the application of AI technology that has a lot of potential to benefit society and mankind,” said Raina Yeung, head of Privacy and Data Policy, at Facebook.

Junaid Qadir, the principal investigator of the project, said, “We’re excited to be awarded this grant and are looking forward to beginning this project.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) has great potential to facilitate sustainable human development goals, but it also has significant potential for abuse. Through this work, a culturally-informed, pro-social AI framework for Pakistan and the Muslim world will be proposed. In this regard, the rich Islamic legal tradition and the work on objectives (Maqasid) of Islamic law will be leveraged for studying contemporary AI-related issues.”