Google AI today announced the AI for Social Good initiative, an ongoing project to apply core AI research and engineering efforts to social good projects both inside Google and among the broader AI ecosystem.
Google AI Impact Challenge:
Google.org is offering $25 million (roughly Rs. 184 crores) to universities and nonprofits who have the research ideas that can be expanded by using artificial intelligence. Grantees will be announced at the I/O developer conference in spring 2019. AI systems made with the AI Impact Challenge will be open-sourced
The Google AI Impact Challenge, which includes the offer of help and coaching from experts at Google, launched Monday. “We want to invest in the best ideas globally,” said Jacquelline Fuller, vice president of Google and president of Google.org.
Inside Google, programs supported by the AI for Social Good program include the use of TensorFlow to mitigate traffic incidents in Iowa and augmented reality microscopes to help healthcare professionals do their jobs.
Google is unifying those efforts and calling it AI for Social Good, and it launched the six-month Impact Challenge on Monday, issuing a call for research partners around the world.
“We have heard from universities who have ideas about how AI can be applied. Sometimes, what they’re lacking is the resources,” Fuller said.
Google AI head Jeff Dean highlighted several uses of AI to benefit all people, such as computer vision to detect cancer cells and AI to find habitable planets outside of our solar system.
“Artificial intelligence is not just helping people create more useful products — we use it in a lot of ways throughout many Google products but is also emerging as a really powerful tool for improving the society that we live in,” Dean said onstage. “In fact, I’d argue that there’s never a better time to be working in the field of artificial intelligence.”
Google AI researchers have supported the use of AI for the common good in recent past projects like the Lookout app for the blind, detecting diabetic retinopathy in eye images, or predicting flooding or earthquake aftershocks before they happen.
Google AI research centers like the kind established earlier this year in places like France and Ghana will also support recruiting AI Impact Challenge participants.
“Those centers are going to help us find and become aware of efforts going on globally that may not be on our radar here in Silicon Valley and help us make sure that we get proposals from people who are doing work globally,” Google.org VP Jacqueline Fuller told in an interview.
What kinds of ideas?
Google says it’s open to many fields — including the humanities, such as art or archaeology — and is looking for projects that could have the social and environmental impact.
For example, Google has helped with projects such as flood forecasting, allowing officials to warn people of impending danger.
Another project aims to combat child sex trafficking. Because so many victims are advertised online, a tool was developed that helps law enforcement sift through massive amounts of digital information. The technology identifies patterns. “What AI can do is look for the signals that matter — repeated phone numbers, location, image similarity,” Fuller says, and use algorithms to pinpoint possible signs of children being trafficked, allowing law enforcement to investigate the most likely cases.
Hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers are using that technology, Fuller said, helping them find thousands of traffickers and victims.
Whale Bioacoustics project :
There’s a large-scale project hoping to protect whales. The sound of whales and illegal logging activity will be central to two other new initiatives being mounted for rainforest and whale conservation.
The Whale Bioacoustics project announced in today’s ceremony at the Google offices in Sunnyvale, California was developed in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is dedicated to informing shipping companies of the location of endangered whales to prevent deadly collisions.
Many whales are harmed by collisions with ships and fishing nets, but protecting the animals is complicated because they spend most of their time well below the surface of the ocean. They’re easier to hear than to see: Whale songs can travel hundreds of miles underwater, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been recording audio for more than a decade in the Pacific Ocean.
But it would take a scientist many years to listen to the 170,000 hours of recordings. Google teamed up with NOAA to create visualizations of the patterns of humpback whales’ complicated songs, allowing the algorithm to correctly identify the sound and connect it with the species — giving scientists data on where whales are and where they’re going.
They can use that information to let shipping companies know about areas with many whales so that collisions between whales and ships can be reduced.
The models the bioacoustics program uses to identify whales are similar to those available in AudioSet, a collection of audio datasets open-sourced by Google.
Other Company AI:
Facebook AI Research is working with New York University to reduce the time it takes to perform MRI scans, which would open advanced imaging to more people and limit the amount of time patients have to spend in loud, anxiety-inducing MRI machines.
Microsoft launched AI for Earth in December 2017 with $50 million for conservation and increase crop yield. Multi-million dollar initiatives have also been created to assist people with disabilities. A $40 million humanitarian causes initiative made its debut last month.
Amazon, whose Rekognition has been criticized because of its controversial law enforcement uses, is also being used for purposes such as finding missing children.
Professors, students and people working at nonprofits can submit proposals, even if they don’t have expertise in the technology, including if the ideas are in the early stages of development. Winners will be announced in the spring.
“We’re open to a bunch of ideas and types of ideas,” said Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, head of product impact for Google.org. Once winners are chosen, Google will kick off an accelerator program, giving recipients funding, support, and expertise for the next one to three years. Google hopes to dramatically increase the impact of projects, so already published research is eligible if it has the potential to be expanded.
Summary:- Google is launching a contest for students, professors and others who could use artificial intelligence to increase the impact of their projects.