Applied Trust & Safety Initiative

Addressing the human element of technological change

As technology continues to advance in its capabilities and uses—and plays an increasing role in our lives–we must remain vigilant to the human risks that accompany it. As the field of Trust & Safety continues to mature, organizations offering technology products and services must anticipate how they might be misappropriated, abused, or serve as a vector to target their users. Anticipating and actively managing these risks can build trust, safety, and confidence in a product and its provider, while simultaneously addressing risks with societal implications.

The Institute for Security and Technology (IST) sits at the intersection of rapid technological innovation and its implications for humanity, positioning it to respond to this challenge. IST in 2023 launched its Applied Trust & Safety Initiative, a long-term effort to ensure technology products and services are safe to use and capabilities such as AI are fully leveraged to address these challenges at scale.

“As technology products and services continue to evolve and increasingly become an indispensable part of our lives, so too must T&S practices grow and mature to manage the risks.”
Steve Kelly and Nile Johnson, Addressing the Human Element of Technological Change

Featured Content

Introducing the Trust and Safety Advisory Group
Composed of key luminaries from across the trust and safety, technology, government, and nonprofit spaces, the Trust and Safety Advisory Group will leverage their breadth of experience to help inform the strategy and substance of the Initiative’s work.
March 2024 | Announcement

IST launches Generative Identity Initiative with support of Omidyar Network
With the generous support of Omidyar Network, the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) announced the launch of the Generative Identity Initiative, a new effort to address the complex questions around generative AI’s impact on social identities, norms, and belonging. 
January 2024 | Announcement

Facial recognition technology to monitor the population on busy street

Addressing the Human Element of Technological Change
IST in 2023 launched its Applied Trust & Safety Initiative, a long-term effort to ensure technology products and services are safe to use and technology solutions such as AI are fully leveraged to address these challenges at scale. Our efforts will primarily serve the T&S practitioner community in carrying out their challenging roles, but will also provide resources to innovators, guidance to users, and recommendations to policymakers.
December 2023 | Blog

Nile Johnson Joins IST to Lead Applied Trust and Safety Practice
The Institute for Security and Technology announced in September 2023 the addition of Nile Johnson as the Senior Director for Applied Trust and Safety. Nile will lead IST’s efforts through a combination of strategy, stakeholder engagement, and execution. 
September 2023 | Statement

IST Announces Steve Kelly as First Chief Trust Officer

IST announces Steve Kelly as its first Chief Trust Officer
The Institute for Security and Technology announced in August 2023 the addition of Steve Kelly as its first Chief Trust Officer. At IST, Steve will establish a new effort to advance the trust, safety, and security of artificial intelligence and help lead other aspects of the organization’s work.
August 2023 | Statement

IST advances Applied Trust and Safety work in partnership with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
As IST scaled up its work in the field of Applied Trust and Safety, we announced in December 2022 our partnership with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF), a global, 21st century philanthropy focused on bridging the frontiers of artificial intelligence, data science, and social impact.
December 2022 | Announcement