Ohio University

AI for Good: Breakthrough Tracks

AI for Good: Breakthrough Tracks

On September 29, 2020, the AI for Good Global Summit held a webinar about their breakthrough tracks and the projects associated with different topics.

The three breakthrough track topics are Gender Equity, Future of Food, and Pandemic Intelligence. Each topic contains one or two groups with projects they have created and submitted with the goal of generating meaningful projects that have short- or medium-term impact on advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals by using artificial intelligence (AI) data ecosystem, community building and collaboration.

The first breakthrough track topic was Pandemic Intelligence presented by the Montreal Artificial Intelligence Ethics Institute and member Allison Cohen. Their presentation was titled “Turning Pandemics into Gray Rhinos” with the theme of how can we incentivize data collection and sharing to help build solutions that are equitable and fair when it comes to responses to communities affected by pandemics. According to Cohen, the gray rhino serves as an allegory for events that we like to ignore but if the right infrastructure is set up to monitor these types of events and don’t turn the blind eye that we turn to these sorts of events, we can respond to them much more effectively. The problem they are solving is marginalized communities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The solution that Cohen and her team came up with was shifting the approach to pandemic response to meet the ‘gray rhino’ threshold with permanent monitoring of infrastructures that is privacy preserving.

The first breakthrough track topic included another presentation from Intelligent Global Health’s member Mary-Ann Hartley. Their presentation was titled “What If… Global COVID Policy Simulator” with the question of how we can create predictive models that support informed policy making and mitigation of improper resource allocation during a pandemic. This artificial intelligence data simulator makes predictive models that inform data-driven policy-making and targeted resource allocation. The issue Hartley and her team are trying to address is the lack of evidence and transparency in policy making, which leads to arbitrary decisions, public mistrust, public non-compliance, and then ineffective policies. Their solution is the simulator and data driven personalized predications on how data reacts to changes in policies and the optimal policy tailored to the given situation. According to Hartley, the positive impact of their project is after COVID, nearly anything can be plugged into the policy simulator, as long as the data exists.

The second breakthrough track topic was Gender Equity presented by Outsight International’s team member Denise Soesilo. Their presentation was titled “The Complete Picture Project” with the idea of constructing inclusive and diverse test datasets that show a complete picture of communities for AI bias testing. The problem their team is trying to solve is the ability of not being able to test for bias if people do not show up in the data. According to Soesilo, their solution is simple, build more complete datasets. This provides developers and others concerned with AI bias, a starting point for testing, a complete picture of communities, including the people who are most often excluded or ignored. This matters a lot because in every community in the world, AI is becoming an important tool for making decisions that matter in people’s lives.

The third and final breakthrough track topic was Future of Food presented by Project Farm’s team member Marijn Markus. Their presentation was titled the “FARM AI platform” with the idea to offer services to smallholder farmers and insight to value chain partners by using mobile phones capable of receiving text messages and combining the smallholder farmer’s own data with satellite and market information to generate insights. According to Markus, Project Farm aims to solve the problem of using AI to design resilient food systems that can better anticipate, adapt, and/or mitigate system shocks.

To review or find more information on the AI for Good breakthrough tracks check out their website HERE !

The McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies strives to offer the best academic programs in the IT (Information Technology), the game development and the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) industries. Our programs and certificates cover numerous aspects of the rapidly changing industries of information networking, information security, data privacy, game development, digital animation and the academic side of esports.