Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Google pledges $25 million to AI for ‘good’ projects

Google has pledged $25 million in grants to the AI Global Impact Challenge, the company revealed on Monday during the AI for Social Good event held at the company’s Sunnyvale in California.

The sum will be invested throughout 2019 in humanitarian and environmental projects looking at using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve and speed-up their efforts.

The AI Impact Challenge will inspire organisations to ask Google for help in machine learning using the search engine giant’s AI resources too analyse large data sets to make predictions or detect patterns and anomalies.

Google will not charge for such tools, Julie Cattiau, a Google product manager said, though users could choose to use paid Google cloud services.

However, the news also comes after Google’s recent ‘misuse’ of its artificial intelligence resources, including military applications and a censored search engine in China.

Google dismissed the claims though, with AI Chief Operating Officer Irina Kofman telling Reuters the challenge was not an attempt to hide the mistakes of the past. She added that thousands of employees are keen on working on “social good” projects even though they do not directly generate revenue.

During the AI for Social Good event Jeff Dean, the head of the company’s Google Brain AI division and a senior research fellow also stretched that: “This [project] has been in the works for quite some time. We’ve been doing work in the search space that is socially beneficial and not directly related to commercial applications.

“It’s really important for us to show what the potential for AI and machine learning can be, and to lead by example.”

Jacquelline Fuller, vice president of Google nonprofit arm, explained that the impact challenge applications would be due January 20 and judged on total potential beneficiaries, feasibility and ethical considerations.


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