Google Will Present $25 Million To Social AI Projects

Dhir Acharya - Oct 31, 2018


Google Will Present $25 Million To Social AI Projects

Google will grant about $25 million to environmental and humanitarian projects seeking to use AI via its "AI Impact Challenge" project.

On Monday, Google made an announced that next year, it will present approximately $25 million to environmental and humanitarian projects across the globe which work on implementing AI.

Google’s project “AI Impact Challenge” aims at inspiring causes to ask for Google’s help in machine learning, an AI form where computers work on huge datasets to identify anomalies and patterns, as well as make predictions.

Google AI Impact Challenge
Amazon.com and Microsoft are also promoting their “AI for good” project, too

Supporting humanitarian projects can help Google recruit and calm down criticism through showing that business benefits and military work are not its only purposes it have with AI. After facing projection from employees, Google stated that it would not continue a deal to research drone footage for U.S. military.

Irina Kofman, AI Chief Operating Officer at Google, said to Reuters that pushback is in fact not a challenge to the project; instead, the firm has to face thousands of employees who want to take part in “social good” projects regardless of not earning revenue.

At the Monday media event, Google illustrated some example projects it wants to encourage, one of which involved detecting the singing of humpback whales with 90 percent accuracy out of 170,000 hours of audio recordings underwater collected by the U.S. government.

Previously, the recordings had to be analyzed by scientists, so this is the first time we look at the dataset comprehensively, according to Ann Allen, an ecologist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Allen said that detecting patterns can indicate human’s effect on whales, from which help ships avoid whale collisions.

Two whale experts added that as whales don’t always sing, there are gaps in the data to make sure, and we may need new regulation to make vessels use animal location data.

Julie Cattiau, a product manager for the whale project, said that Google intends to offer organizations with the whale software for improvement.

Cattiau also said that the tools would be free and users could decide whether to combine the tools with paid Google cloud services.

According to Jacquelline Fuller, Google.org’s vice president, Google will take applications for impact challenge till January 20, and will consider them based on ethical considerations, feasibility and potential beneficiaries.

This year, machine-learning tool was first used to filter grant applications for a competition specifically for Africa.

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