Five Organizations Pushing the Boundaries of AI for Good

Applying Artificial Intelligence in the most impactful way to solve grand challenges on the planet.

Michael Burkhardt
Nov 14 · 4 min read

Much energy and attention are spent on futuristic AI such as self-driving cars, robot cities, and doomsday worlds.

Fortunately, the AI for Good movement continues to spark interest by solving meaningful problems with an immediate benefit to society and the planet.

McKinsey compiled a library of about 160 AI social-impact use cases. They suggest that existing capabilities could contribute to tackling cases across all 17 of the UN’s sustainable development goals, potentially helping hundreds of millions of people in both advanced and emerging countries.

Use cases range from diagnosing cancer to helping blind people navigate their surroundings, identifying victims of online sexual exploitation, and aiding disaster-relief efforts.

In other words, there are hundreds of problems in today’s world that AI can help to solve.

Here are five organizations that use AI technology to make the world a better place.

1. AI for Good UK

AI for Good, UK is a world-leading organization with the mission “to help 100 million people by solving some of the toughest challenges facing humanity”.

And all signs are pointing towards the direction of achieving this.

Kriti Sharma, the founder, is a leader in the emerging field of technology for development. She gave a truly inspiring Ted Talk on how to keep human bias out of AI. Her organization works with governments, the United Nations, businesses and local communities.

A highlighted project

Homepage

One of their very impactful projects is called rAInbow, a conversational smart companion, “designed to reach millions who are in an abusive, controlling or unhealthy relationship”.

The addressed problem is that almost one-third (30 percent) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

Within the first 100 days of launch users had nearly 200,000 conversations with the AI system.

More details here

2. Solve by MIT

MIT Solve advances lasting solutions from “tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems”.

Solve’s work model is based on cross-sector partnerships and open innovation:

  • More than 130 Solver teams solving big Global Challenges
  • A community of leaders in social impact
  • Organization of year-round Solve events with 100+ members

Some of their current challenges

How can citizens and communities create and improve social inclusion and shared prosperity? How can all children under five develop the critical learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential?

Source: Womera

More details here.

3. Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar is investing in emerging solutions to build a better future for children and young people globally.

One of their action items is to co-create and scale-up AI and digital solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people by increasing care efficiency.

Recently, Fondation Botnar has formed a coalition to support a 10-year effort around advocacy, communication, and accountability for AI, digital and frontier technologies as a catalyst for the 2030 agenda of Universal Health Coverage (UHC): Moving Together to Build a Healthier World.

More details here.

4. ITU AI for Good Conference

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 ITU in partnership with UN Sister agencies, XPRIZE Foundation and ACM.

The next summit will take place from 4–8 May 2020 Geneva, Switzerland

Here is a demo video of the highlights.

5. AI 4 All

The mission of US-based non-profit AI4ALL is to open doors to Artificial Intelligence for underrepresented talent through education and mentorship.

The idea for AI4ALL originated in 2015 when Dr. Olga Russakovsky, approached her advisor, renowned AI researcher Dr. Fei-Fei Li, with an idea for how to create more access for underrepresented people in the field of artificial intelligence. Little later AI4ALL was born.

I believe in human-centered AI to benefit people in positive and benevolent ways. — Dr. Fei-Fei Li

Their latest development is an open learning environment to bring free AI education to schools, organizations, and communities.


The year 2019 has brought up many impactful AI for Good initiatives.

The goal for 2020 is to continue focusing our energies on what really matters, a better world.

“In Africa, there is a concept known as Ubuntu — the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.” — Nelson Mandela

In the end, we should all collaborate and use AI in the most meaningful way.

Omdena

A global platform where AI engineers and enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds collaborate with mission-driven organizations to solve grand social problems.

Michael Burkhardt

Written by

Community Builder | Building AI for Good @Omdena | Writing about Meditation and Habits for Self Discovery, Personal Development, and Peak Performance.

Omdena

Omdena

A global platform where AI engineers and enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds collaborate with mission-driven organizations to solve grand social problems.

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