Google.org Offers $25 Million For Social Good AI Ideas

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the search engine firm, is committing $25 million in grants and additional expertise to find the best Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for social good.

The money will be segmented into support from Google’s AI experts, Google.org grant funding from a $25 million pool, credit and consulting from Google Cloud. The Google AI Impact Challenge is an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions around the world.

The announcement was made by Jacquelline Fuller, a vice president at Google and president of google.org and Jeff Dean, Google senior fellow and senior vice president of Google AI via the organization’s blog.

The authors wrote in the blog post “we’re far from having all the answers — or even knowing all the questions. We want people from as many backgrounds as possible to surface problems that AI can help solve, and to be empowered to create solutions themselves. So as a part of AI for Social Good, we’re also launching the Google AI Impact Challenge, a global call for nonprofits, academics, and social enterprises from around the world to submit proposals on how they could use AI to help address some of the world’s greatest social, humanitarian and environmental problems.”

Google.org is seeking 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 data to better use. AI and its sub-category of machine learning (ML) are characterized by a process of training a piece of software, called a model, to generate new outputs based on a set of data inputs, according to Google.org For example, it would be predicting a sports team’s performance based on past record. This model can then provide predictions about previously unseen data.

AI models can range from linear regressions run in Excel to sophisticated deep learning algorithms run on AI platforms. Google.org is open to applications across this spectrum, as long as they aim to help address a social or environmental problem, according to the authors.

Applications will be accepted until Jan. 22, 2019. Organizations selected to receive grants will be announced in spring 2019, according to Google.org. Only one organization may be the applicant of record, but collaboration is permitted, especially between technical and social sector experts. The application allows applicants to specify partners who will be critical to the work. If your application is selected to receive a grant, the applicant organization will be the sole recipient of the grant, but may sub-grant or subcontract with other organizations to complete the proposed project as long as all organizations comply with the terms of the grant agreement.

Grants may range from $500,000 to $2 million but will be sized based on project needs. Applicants will need to submit budgets that reflect the scope of their proposal. Likewise, education, coaching, and computing resources will also be tailored to project needs. The Challenge is open to any nonprofit organization, public charity, or for-profit business from around the world, provided that they apply for a project that has a charitable purpose. Individuals without organizational affiliation are ineligible. Individuals and organizations that ordinarily reside or are located in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Syria are not eligible to apply.

For more information on the grants and how to apply, go to https://ai.google/social-good/impact-challenge#faqs