Google has announced grants totaling $25 million to the winners of its AI Impact Challenge, a competition designed to catalyze the use of AI in addressing some of the world's most pressing social, humanitarian, and environmental problems.
In addition to receiving funding from Google.org, credit and consulting services from Google Cloud, and coaching from Google's AI experts, twenty projects and organizations will be invited to join the Google AI Impact Challenge Accelerator, a six-month program run by Google Developers Launchpad. Launched in 2018 with $25 million in funding from Google.org as part of the tech company's AI for Social Good program, the challenge received more than twenty-six hundred applications from nonprofits, academics, and social enterprises in a hundred and nineteen countries — 40 percent of them submitted by organizations with no previous experience with artificial intelligence, which remains a nascent concept in the social impact field.
The selected projects and organizations include the American University of Beirut, which plans to apply machine learning techniques to weather and agricultural data to improve irrigation for resource-strapped farmers in Africa and the Middle East; the Gringgo Indonesia Foundation, which is building an image recognition tool to improve plastic recycling rates, reduce plastic pollution in the oceans, and strengthen waste management in underresourced Indonesian communities; Hand Talk in Brazil, which uses AI to translate Portuguese into Brazilian Sign Language via a digital avatar, facilitating communication for Brazilians who are deaf and hard-of-hearing; and Quill.org in the U.S., which is using deep learning to help low-income students improve their writing skills by providing them with immediate feedback.
For a complete list of this year's AI Impact Challenge winners, see the Google blog.
(Photo credit: Gringgo Indonesia Foundation)