Facebook has now made official a host of initiatives dedicated to delivering social and inclusive growth by via harnessing the power of emerging technologies led by Artificial Intelligence (AI). These announcements were made at Facebook's inaugural AI for India Summit held in Bengaluru that focused on AI for Social Good. This summit was attended by AI thought-leaders, start-ups, NGOs, and the developer community.
In this summit, Facebook also threw light on multiple technology-driven next-gen aspects such as to how AI can play a crucial role in times of crisis and cited its efforts during the 2018 Kerala Floods when in partnership with Seeds India, an NGO, it quickly prepared disaster maps for the state.
The maps use aggregated and de-identified Facebook data to track people’s movement and were able to demarcate between the flood-hit and safe zones. This information helped Seeds and other humanitarian organizations appropriately time their early recovery and relief operations.
“At Facebook we are also committed to growing the local AI ecosystem, which can be achieved by providing support to start-ups, to the student community, and by ensuring diversity within the ecosystem itself. That's the thought behind our key announcements today around AI for India Accelerator, trainings and scholarships for students and developers, and 'Women in AI' hackathons,” stated Ajit Mohan who is Vice-President and Managing Director at Facebook India.
Also highlighting AI for furthering societal causes Facebook spoke about its Blood Donation tool, which helps connect blood banks and hospitals to blood donors who have registered themselves on the platform. Facebook said that to date, more than 35 million people have signed up to be donors globally. In order to understand its impact, Facebook partnered with blood banks in India and Brazil to conduct in-person surveys and found that one in five people said that Facebook influenced their decision to donate blood.
Along with the AI-driven initiatives, Facebook also threw light on the below initiatives that it has undertaken to further “next-gen ideas”:
“The AI for India Summit is our first step in what we hope to be a fruitful journey of applying AI to solve India specific needs. We've raised awareness for Facebook's AI vision and strategy," stated Raghavan Srinivasan who is Product Director for Facebook AI said
This day-long summit held on 26 March also witnessed discussions on how AI could be utilized to make advancements in healthcare, education, agriculture, and crisis/disaster mitigation in line with the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence that was outlined by NITI Aayog last year. The summit was attended by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, and members from academia, leading think-tanks, NGOs, students, and developer community.