What Do ‘AI for Social Good’ Projects Need? Here are 7 Key Components.

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By Anna Bethke, Head of AI for Social Good, Intel

This article is part of the AI for Good Series originally posted on ITU News.

At their core, ‘AI for Social Good’ projects use artificial intelligence (AI) hardware and software technologies to positively impact the well-being of people, animals or the planet — and they span most, if not all, of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the 17 goals established by the United Nations General Assembly to positively transform our society and the world we live in.

The range of potential projects continues to grow as the AI community advances our technology capability and better understands the problems being faced.

One of the interesting aspects about several of Intel’s ‘AI for Social Good’ projects is that no new or novel technology was required.

Our team of AI researchers at Intel achieved success by working with partners to understand the problems, collecting the appropriate data, retraining algorithms, and molding them into a practical solution.

In fact, the call for proposals to be shared at upcoming AI for Social Good workshops held at NeurIPS and ICLR stated that submitted projects ‘do not necessarily need to be of outstanding theoretical novelty.’

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AI for Social Good projects can impact all aspects of our lives and well-being.

At their core, an AI for Social Good project requires the following elements:

At the end of May, Intel AI travels to Geneva, Switzerland, for the UN’s AI for Good Global Summit hosted by ITU and will speak to each of these elements in a hands-on workshop.

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The AI for Good Global Summit is THE leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI.

We will cover the basics of AI, provide examples of how it can be used, and give attendees virtual access to easy-to-use Jupyter Notebooks running Python code so they can practice techniques we discuss throughout the day. The workshop is designed to give participants the information they need to better leverage the capabilities of AI.

Among the most powerful tools we have to affect change in our world are those to connect, innovate, and synthesize ideas, using the latest available technologies and resources.

Revitalization of global partnerships for sustainable development is one of the UN’s 17 goals, and we expect to see it in force during the AI for Good Summit. Until then, we hope the projects shared on Intel’s AI for Social Good site demonstrate the power that technology has to do great things, especially when we come together as a community to solve complex problems.

Anna Bethke is a deep learning data scientist within the Artificial Intelligence Products Group at Intel, where she is the head of AI for Social Good. Her responsibilities include researching and designing fair, transparent, and accessible AI systems and establishing partnerships with social good organizations to enable their missions with Intel’s technologies and AI expertise.

The AI for Good Global Summit is THE leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. The Summit is hosted each year in Geneva by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with UN Sister agencies, XPRIZE Foundation and The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. Join us at the 2019 AI for Good Summit! (https://aiforgood.itu.int)

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