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AI Commons to Help Develop ‘AI for Good’ Projects

AI for Good. Photo: ITU

AI for Good. Photo: ITU

Three editions of the AI for Good Global Summit have showcased numerous artificial intelligence (AI) projects with promise to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participants have recognized the significance of the leap from AI promise to global impact, a leap that they plan to take together with the development of an ‘AI Commons’.

The 3rd AI for Good Global Summit, held in Geneva from 28 to 31 May 2019, shone a spotlight on AI projects in fields including education, healthcare and wellbeing, social and economic equality, space research, and smart and safe mobility.

Impact on a global scale, agreed summit participants, will require a common enabling infrastructure – ‘AI Commons’ – comprising shared knowledge, data, resources and problem-solving approaches to stimulate the development and application of ‘AI for Good’ projects.

The community supporting the AI for Good Global Summit is advancing AI technologies and applications, working to bridge skills gaps between AI developers and adopters, and defining safe and ethical approaches to AI. Their overarching goal is to create the new partnerships required to ensure that high-potential ‘AI for Good’ projects achieve impact on a global scale.


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The ‘AI Commons’ will provide an open framework for collaboration, a decentralized system to democratize problem solving with AI. AI adopters will connect with AI specialists and data owners to align incentives for innovation and develop AI solutions to precisely defined problems.

AI development and application will build on the state of the art, enabling AI solutions to scale with the help of shared datasets, testing and simulation environments, AI models and associated software, and storage and computing resources.

The ‘AI Commons’ is an initiative supported by ITU, the XPRIZE Foundation, Mila, IEEE Standards Association, Anima, HEC Paris, the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, McGovern Foundation, BOTNAR Foundation, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Enovant Foundation, The Future Society, Ocean Protocol, Inspired Minds, Camera Culture at MIT, Element AI, District 3, Wadhwani AI, Swissnex Network, Sahara Ventures, and Hong Kong’s Center for Artificial Intelligence Research.

Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT) – in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and 37 sister United Nations agencies, the AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for inclusive dialogue on AI.

The summit identifies practical applications of AI to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It connects AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers, building collaboration to maximize the impact of ‘AI for Good’.

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