Oxford HR attended the WHF ‘AI for Good’ Webinar at the end of January, hoping to understand more about the various technologies that are being implemented in the For Purpose sector with AI. With brilliant speakers (Alice Piterova, AI For Good; Ann Rosenberg, Wood plc; Elizabeth Njoroge, Christian Aid; Nicola Strong, Oxford Brookes University) and some tricky questions, it was an interesting discussion, in an area that is much more fledgling than we realised. Wide ranging discussion topics were around applying ethics to AI with a conscious mindset, how a unified idea of global standardisation is not there yet, data privacy and the fact that at the moment, we have too much data about too few people and that needs to be addressed. A favourite quote of mine was ‘we need to listen to the silent’ from Nicola Strong. The ones that are not choosing to speak are sometimes not doing so out of choice and so we need to be investigating and creating AI solutions that are simple, effective, inexpensive and accessible to all.
The topic of disaster management was also raised. Again, still a very young area in terms of actual innovations being implemented at this time, but work has been underway for a while with various organisations as to how you warn people before a disaster occurs, therefore possibly saving countless lives. We are only at the beginning of what can be achieved with this technology with AI capability.
So what encouraging trends are there?
- Data for good – there is lots of global collaboration around this movement which is gathering momentum and visibility
- Data for Covid – we are living and breathing data on Covid daily, be it good or bad. Research organisations released info on Sars early on in the pandemic to help with developing the Covid vaccine and this sharing information and data is key to moving forward (within data protection laws)
- Collaboration – not just organisations but people in general
- Academia for the humanitarian sector – aiding for example with data scientists i.e. for purpose organisations partnering with Universities to undertake studies, to avoid the high costs
- The involvement of the young – there is an increasing enthusiasm trend for data and AI and people wanting to get involved, learn more and pass that knowledge on
- Chatbots – easy and accessible and very much on the rise in terms of popularity
The conclusions from each panel speaker were inspiring and, perhaps surprisingly for a complex subject, simple. “Teach AI for Good and make it accessible and useful”, “Celebrate success, build with hope and use intuition to know when it is good and for good”, “Unite the public and private sectors – that’s how we are going to use AI and data to build back better” and the one I found most relatable “don’t be scared of AI. This isn’t about robots replacing humans; it doesn’t need to be expensive or data greedy; solutions need to be simple, clever and accessible”.
Clearly there is a huge cultural and perception shift that needs to occur in the next few years to further these start up innovations and support the few organisations and leaders actually building and using AI solutions, but discussions like this one we attended, are definitely the place to start if you want to learn more about this world we need to embrace.
Suzie joined the Oxford HR Team in January 2019 as our Communications Director. She holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Cardiff University and has worked in Marketing for over 13 years.
Prior to working for Oxford HR, Suzie has developed campaigns and worked on the global strategies for companies such P&G, Nissan, Delta Airlines, Barclays, COI, World Horse Welfare, Vodafone and VTECH. Suzie is particularly interested in how technology and digital innovation can contribute to the global UN goal of ending hunger and poverty by 2030 and global problems in general.
Suzie is a Trustee on the Board of the charity CMV Action, endeavouring to support awareness and fund vaccine research for this virus.