Sustainable Living

AI For Social Good

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing. The upcoming technology that will have a large impact on society, affecting how we live, work and die. We’ve all heard scary stories about how a flock of robots will be after our jobs and how realistic sex dolls may present a big step back for feminism, but, like everything, the bad comes with the good, and vice versa.  AI has the potential to help tackle some of the world’s most challenging social problems.

Resolve is an NGO that has partnered with technology company Intel to tackle poachers slaughtering wild animals across Africa and Asia. Together, they have created an AI integrated camera called ‘Trail Guard AI’ that tracks poachers who are entering a forest to poach wild animals. It then notifies the park rangers and forest officials almost in real time, from here, the rangers and officials can decide what actions they will take to stop the poaching.

Google has been one of the first major global companies to utilise AI in a positive way internationally. The company created a new initiative called AI for Social Good. The initiative will see Google use AI to support global projects that have a beneficial effect on society. One existing example of a project is an augmented reality microscope that can help pathologists spot cancer cells more easily. This will be a vital tool in the global effort to stop cancer.

Alibaba Group is a Chinese multinational commerce company with Alibaba Cloud being a cloud-computing division of the business. Alibaba Cloud has launched their Tech for Change Initiative which is seeking to take on projects that will “tackle global social and humanitarian challenges” from “enterprises, start-ups and young entrepreneurs.” One project already underway is an initiative that will support female education worldwide by offering free online training and free access to cloud computing resources to marginalised communities.

As a society, we’ll be a lot better off if we focus on and implement the positives of Artificial Intelligence. The potential benefits across all industries are exciting. Forbes magazines predict that AI will create more jobs than job losses and at this moment in time, 15% of enterprises are using AI. From Instagram algorithms, using Siri and Alexa, to scrolling down your Facebook feed, AI is already here and making a big impact on our digital lives.

About the author

Tali Ramsey

I am a London based writer who focuses on contemporary art, culture, society and politics, particularly reporting on the underrepresented and overlooked individuals in these categories.

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