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September 29, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Tech Giants Form Nonprofit to Study Artificial Intelligence

New Silicon Valley Group Will Assess Machine Intelligence: Launched by five of the biggest names in technology, the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society will research AI applications and study their impact on humanity, reports The Seattle Times. Founding firms Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and Alphabet — represented by its Google and DeepMind divisions — will have seats on the new group’s board, along with five members from other fields, including academia, the law, and nonprofits. In a statement, the companies said the partnership will use research and open dialogue to develop best practices as artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent and “ensure it benefits as many people as possible.”

Opinion: Does Candidates’ Generosity Matter to Voters? Amid intense public scrutiny of the Clinton and Donald J. Trump foundations, a Wall Street Journal column ponders whether voters care — and whether they should care — about how charitable presidential candidates are. Philanthropy scholars Suzanne Garment and Leslie Lenkowsky note that greater giving has not necessarily translated into greater electability and that displaying “sympathy for the well-being of others” is just one of many personal qualities voters consider in sizing up White House hopefuls. But they add that this year, “the candidates’ charitable behavior may tell us more than it usually does about the differences in character each would bring to the Oval Office.” Read Chronicle columns by Ms. Garment and Mr. Lenkowsky about controversies surrounding the Clinton and Trump foundations.

Dana-Farber’s Trump Ties Offer Window Into Gala Fundraising: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been named a “Grand Benefactor” of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute without giving it any of his own money, according to health-news site Stat, which says the relationship opens a window into the world of high-end fundraising. The Boston cancer center has held annual events at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., since 2011, paying his company $150,000 a year; this year’s gala raised $1.6 million. The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has not received any money from its namesake since 2008, has donated $350,000 to Dana-Farber since 2010. Regarding the honorary title, Susan Paresky, the hospital’s head of development, said Mr. Trump and his wife have lent their names to the galas and that it is “customary to thank and recognize a person most associated with a foundation for that foundation’s support.”

Kauffman Foundation Pledges $79 Million for Scholarships: The 10-year commitment by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation establishes KC Scholars, a new program to help students from low- and middle-income families complete college, reports the Kansas City Star. The program, announced Wednesday at an event marking what would have been the 100th birthday of the foundation’s namesake patron, will offer a mix of traditional scholarships and college-savings matches. It was designed with extensive community input and next year will become a free-standing nonprofit, independent of the Kauffman Foundation, leaders of the effort said.

$39 Million Gift Expands Veterinary Studies at Ohio State: The donation from the foundation of the late Frank Stanton, a university alumnus and longtime television executive, will endow new faculty and staff positions and establish new clinical facilities and programs, the Columbus Dispatch writes. The funds will come in two stages, $19 million now and $20 million in five years if certain benchmarks are reached. Mr. Stanton was president of CBS from 1946 to 1971 and is credited with television innovations such as presidential debates. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Ohio State in the 1930s and endowed a veterinary chair at the university in his wife’s name in 2002.

Industrialist and Philanthropist Ronald Stanton Dies at 88: Mr. Stanton built a fortune in petrochemicals and gave away more than $300 million of it, primarily supporting causes and organizations in New York City, writes The New York Times. A childhood refugee from Nazi Germany whose family arrived in New York in 1937, Mr. Stanton founded Transammonia, now Trammo, one of the largest privately owned firms in the city. His major gifts included $100 million in 2006 to Yeshiva University, where has a longtime board member, and $25 million in 2008 to Lincoln Center, where a pedestrian plaza is named Ronald P. Stanton Way.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Lays Off 34: The reduction represents 1.5 percent of the work force at the New York institution, which announced plans earlier this year for a broad fiscal overhaul in the face of looming budget deficits and debt payments, The Wall Street Journal reports. The layoffs follow a voluntary-retirement offer in which 57 employees took buyouts and the departure in June of several executives at one of the country’s largest and wealthiest museums. They did not include any curators or conservators, said Daniel Weiss, the Met’s president. The museum, which made deeper staff cuts in 2009 in the wake of the financial crash, is aiming to balance its budget by the end of fiscal 2018.