By Valerie Pisano & Sasha Lucioni
President and CEO / Researcher - AI for Humanity
Mila - Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute
Artificial Intelligence for Good
Let Us Introduce You to this topic...
At Mila AI Institute, we are at the heart of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) research, and we witness breakthroughs that are made around us every day. However, we have observed that most projects involving AI, both in academia and in industry, mainly gravitate around two goals: making technological progress and applying AI in high-impact areas of society, like self-driving cars, vocal assistants, and robotics. While these are valid goals, we see AI as having a huge potential for doing good and for having a positive social impact on aspects of society that are often the last to profit from new technologies: NGOs, governments, educational institutions, and charities. The more we explored this space, the more we realized the huge potential that was there and the impact that can be made if the right connections are made and the right resources are exploited.
Valerie & Sasha's Reading List
Learning about AI for Good
Google created a high-level guide to what AI is, how it can be used for solving problems in general and for good problems in particular. There is both text and videos, so it’s a quick and easy introduction!
A great website for fostering collaboration among researchers and practitioners and for providing resources to researchers and students who are interested in AI for good.
The Global Forum on AI for Humanity took place in Paris in October 2019 and brought together scientists, humanists, and policymakers to discuss the potential of AI for Good. All the videos are on YouTube, and cover topics like ethics and bias, legislation, impact on the job market, etc.
Examples of AI for Good Initiatives
Climate Change AI
Accompanying a 50-page paper written by AI researchers regarding how to use AI to fight climate change, a website was also created with readings, data and a forum to help foster discussion and jumpstart collaborations and projects.
Given the sheer amount of data that it generates, healthcare is a prime candidate for applying AI. But it also raises concerns regarding data access and privacy, ethics and bias. This paper gives a great overview of the ins and outs of the field and of its potential.
Tidmarsh Living Observatory
Researchers from the MIT Media Lab are using data collected in real-time from a marsh to capture aspects of the climate, soil, water, and species living in it, to model phenomena like migration patterns, water evaporation, and biodiversity.
About the Authors
Alexandra (Sasha) Luccioni is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on AI for Humanity initiatives at Mila - Quebec AI Institute, under the supervision of Yoshua Bengio. She obtained her PhD in Cognitive Computing from UQÀM in 2018 and spent two years working in applied ML, specifically in applying deep learning and NLP to different industrial applications. She is highly involved in community initiatives, serving on the Research and Policy Committee of Women in Machine Learning (WiML) and on the Advisory board of Kids Code Jeunesse, as well as co-chair of partnerships for Climate Change AI.
Valérie Pisano has over 10 years of experience in talent, leadership, diversity and organizational dynamics. Appointed CEO of Mila – Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute – she joins an emerging group of women leading tech companies. She was previously Chief Talent Officer at Cirque du Soleil and co-founded The Mobïus Bias Project, an initiative focused on accelerating the dialogue on female leadership roles by exploring unconscious bias. She began her career at McKinsey & Company after a Master Degree in Economics at HEC Montreal, and is the proud
mother of three girls.