From Call Screen on the Pixel 3 to Gmail Smart Reply, machine learning is already being used in everyday Google products. The company has also been encouraging adoption with various courses and start-up programs. With the Google AI Impact Challenge today, Google is committing resources and $25 million to address societal challenges.

As a proprietor of machine learning tools, Google notes that more developers are building applications with a specific societal benefit in mind, like healthcare, conservation, and natural disasters. The company has created an AI for Social Good program internally with two aims.

Committing resources and employees, the first applies core Google research and engineering efforts to these kinds of projects by releasing more tools and working with experts. For example, the company has teams of employees working pro-bono with organizations. The second aspect involves providing resources and funding with initiatives like the Google AI Impact Challenge.

We’re looking for projects across a range of social impact domains and levels of technical expertise, from organizations that are experienced in AI to those with an idea for how they could be putting their data to better use.

Starting today, organizations can submit ideas of how AI can be used to address challenges in the world. Winners will be announced at Google I/O 2019, and benefit from Google AI and Google Cloud experts, a total of $25 million in grant funding from Google.org, and Google Cloud Platform credit. Teams will join a Launchpad Accelerator and get further tailored training.

At an AI for Social Good event today — Google AI’s first event in the U.S. — Google shared some ongoing projects with third-parties. The company is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S.

Using recorded underwater audio data from whales, Google is training a deep neural network to identify whale calls by creating a visual spectrogram. The goal is to track their location to provide insights to shipping companies and avoid deadly whale collisions and adjust shipping highways.


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