Global summit generates 35 pioneering proposals using power of artificial intelligence ‘for good’

Thirty-five innovative project proposals leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) ‘for good’ were generated at the  2nd AI for Good Global Summit, held last week in Geneva at the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technology (ICT).

The pioneering proposals were conceived at the summit by expert ‘breakthrough’ teams to address: expanded and improved health care; enhanced monitoring of agriculture and biodiversity using satellite imagery; ‘smart’ urban development; and trust in AI.

The summit connected AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers, creating collaboration opportunities to execute the ‘AI for Good’ project proposals in the near and medium terms.

“Leveraging the power of ICTs, including artificial intelligence, is imperative if we are to improve the livelihoods of all people, everywhere, through achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao. “This call to action by stakeholders was loud and clear at the first AI for Good Global Summit held one year ago. Now here at the 2nd annual summit, a powerful ‘AI for Good’ community movement has emerged. With its pioneering proposals and rich diversity of expertise, it is unstoppable.”

Houlin Zhao

The AI for Good community at the summit discussed the merits of sharing AI tools and resources, datasets, and supporting knowledge and expertise – a vision the summit’s participants conceptualised as “AI and Data Commons”. This responds to growing recognition among stakeholders that shared resources could spur new AI for Good projects, enable significant scale, and create incentives to return new and improved resources to the AI for Good community.

This year’s event was organised by ITU in partnership with 32 sister United Nations agencies, the XPRIZE Foundation and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

“We’re pleased that XPRIZE was able to help spark the crowd to focus on action, with collaborative efforts between public, private, governmental, research, financial and United Nations organisations focused on developing solutions that use AI for humanitarian benefit and can be realised this year and next,” said Anousheh Ansari, member and chair of management, XPRIZE Board of Directors.

“The AI for Good Summit’s approach has proven to be a success,” added ACM president Vicki L. Hanson. “We have all been impressed with the determination of the assembled experts to develop actionable steps, as well as their creativity and the promise that these projects hold for addressing urgent needs in society. ACM has been proud to be part of the summit and we look forward to continuing this important collaboration.”

Pioneering AI-driven project proposals generated at the summit:

  • Monitoring agriculture and biodiversity using satellite imagery

Three project proposals use AI-powered satellite imagery analysis to predict and prevent deforestation, track livestock with great accuracy, and provide data analytics for micro-insurance to small-hold farmers. A fourth project proposal provides enabling infrastructure and common capabilities – through a ‘global service platform’ – to support new satellite data projects in achieving immediate scale.

  • AI-improved healthcare

Fifteen project proposals aim to improve and expand healthcare in fields spanning primary care and service delivery, the detection of impending vision loss and osteoarthritis, the integration and analysis of medical data, the consideration afforded to AI by healthcare policy, and responses to outbreaks of disease and other medical emergencies.

Anousheh Ansari

Participants also discussed the creation of a new study platform that would be open to all interested stakeholders, and supported by ITU and the World Health Organisation. This would collect use cases of AI in healthcare and identify the data formats and interoperability mechanisms required to amplify the impact of such use cases.

  • Smart urban development

Seven project proposals aim to support linguistic diversity within cities, combat gender violence, and provide virtual testbeds for the simulation of smart city projects. These projects included the targeted establishment of an ‘Internet of Cities’, a global network able to share the data, knowledge and expertise required to replicate successful smart city projects elsewhere in the world.

  • Trust in AI

Nine project proposals address three key dimensions of trust in AI: AI stakeholders’ trust in AI developers; trust across national, cultural and organisational boundaries; and trust in AI systems themselves.

Other projects proposals seek to build trust in AI’s contribution to agriculture and mental health. They investigate strategies for developing countries to maintain social stability as AI-driven automation influences labour markets. They also explore how the concept of trust varies across cultures, and they study how policymakers could encourage the development of trustworthy AI systems and datasets free of bias.

These projects would be supported by a proposed incubator for multi-disciplinary collaboration in the interest of building trust in AI,

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow


9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

Global industry accelerating IoT adoption in response to Covid-19, new Inmarsat research reveals

Posted on: September 22, 2021

New research by Inmarsat, the provider of global mobile satellite communications, reveals a rapid increase in the maturity level of organisations adopting the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Respondents drawn from multiple industries also reported that Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating

Read more

Nutanix cloud platform breaks down silos in hybrid multicloud operations

Posted on: September 22, 2021

Nutanix, a provider of hybrid multicloud computing, announced new features in the Nutanix Cloud Platform, including the launch of AOS version 6 software, to help enterprises build modern, software-defined data centres and speed their hybrid multicloud deployments.

Read more