Some Artificial Intelligence technologies have been around for more than 50 years, but advances in computing power and new algorithms have led to major AI breakthroughs in recent decades. AI generates a lot of hype and excitement since it’s still associated with a vision of the future. Meanwhile, we already rely on it every day. Do you use Siri or Alexa? Do you use spam filters on your e-mail? Is there an algorithm that shows you recommendations from Netflix or Spotify? How many times have you had a conversation with a bot that tried to solve your problem with a device or service? AI is all around us. It’s used commercially by companies worldwide for years, but now a new trend has emerged. AI for good is a global trend — many different companies, like Microsoft, Google or Amazon, are trying to solve the world’s most pressing challenges with the use of technology. Other organisations, like the United Nations, look to AI for ways to accelerate their sustainable development goals.
An AI system combines and utilises machine learning and other types of data analytics methods to achieve capabilities traditionally associated with intelligence. This refers not only to computer science but also psychology, linguistics and other fields. Many different definitions highlight the ability to plan, reason, learn, sense and communicate in natural language.
AI can help us get insights from large amounts of data — understanding it and learning from it. It sees patterns where we don’t and connections that would be impossible for the human brain to make.
There are two main ways we deal with large volumes of data to get some insights. One is to organise them through smart visualisation, which provides an overview otherwise obscured by the vastness of the data. The second is to apply machine learning algorithms, which analyse vast amounts of data faster and more accurately than the human brain, providing inferences and sometimes even suggesting solutions.
These are just some basic examples of use cases. If you want to explore more opportunities for NGOs connected with AI, please join the free webinar “AI for Good” on the 28th of April 2021, organised by Tech To The Rescue, a non-profit that matches tech companies with NGO’s to solve the world’s problems. more information: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ai-for-good-registration-151034112095 .