A Set of Common Expectations & Shared Values
Corporate research scholars from the BAIR Commons Industry Members engage with BAIR students and faculty in scores of joint projects within a framework of shared values and common expectations:
- Open Research in AI. The Commons membership agreement has been framed with the goal of promoting open research in AI: all on-campus effort, data, and results in the Commons program will be non-exclusive with open publication and open-source code release expected. This facilitates academic freedom for research and protects students.
- Fostering the Next Generation of AI Researchers. Fostering an environment for excellence for graduate student research is the primary motivation of the new program: Berkeley students will lead the design of projects in the Commons, and the program of research must be approved by their academic advisor before a project commences. Students are expected to benefit from collaboration with leading researchers in industrial research labs, as well as the availability of partner resources useful to investigate certain open questions in state-of-the-art AI research. The University will benefit from membership fees paid by partners to participate in the program. The Commons agreement provides for collaborative joint projects between the partners and Berkeley, with intellectual property shared jointly and equally by the parties.
- Collaborative Space. The BAIR Commons agreement also optionally provides for joint research “lablets”, which will be embedded collaborative open research spaces inside BAIR’s 27,000 sq. ft. research facility in the Berkeley Way West facility on the Berkeley campus.
Intellectual Property within BAIR Commons
The BAIR Open Research Commons Membership Agreement has been framed with the goal of promoting open research in AI: all on-campus effort, data, and results in the BAIR Commons program will be non-exclusive with open publication and open-source code release expected. This facilitates academic freedom for research and protects students.
In general, the research results of BAIR Commons, including IP rights in inventions and copyrightable works, are owned or jointly owned by the University and available to those eligible Industry Members on a non-exclusive basis.
When a company joins BAIR Commons, it enters into a written agreement between itself and the University. BAIR Commons is an industrial affiliate program. These programs are designed to be a standardized program involving multiple industry members with the same legal terms. The contract management process is managed by the UC Berkeley Industry Alliances Office (IAO), working in close coordination with the BAIR Commons Program Director. For more information please refer to the Contact page.
BAIR Open Research Funding Principles
To facilitate academic freedom for research and to protect students, the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Steering Committee has adopted a voluntary practice that research funding contracts should be compatible with open research principles. BAIR PIs are not expected to participate in contracts using BAIR common resources which include an option to obtain an exclusive license to commercial IP, restrictions on publications, a requirement to file patents, exclusion of other funding sources for a project to be performed on campus, overly broad non-disclosure terms, and/or restrictions on the disclosure of the existence of the funding relationship.
The ethical and broader impacts of research in AI are key concerns of researchers in the Commons program. Research within the Commons is conducted jointly under the auspices of the University and our collaborating partner organizations, and is subject to oversight from both organizations, including any research involving human subjects. Informally, projects within the BAIR commons are driven by student research interests, and must be aligned with their views and degree trajectory. Ethics issues in AI are part of the first year AI curriculum, and form the core research interests of many BAIR researchers, including but not limited to the researchers at the Center for Human-Compatible AI who have been leading voices with regard to the future direction of AI towards provably beneficial systems.