When talking about algorithms, a positive social impact isn’t usually the first topic of conversation. However, technology can be an incredible way to improve various social causes at scale — and it’s already happening today. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
DeepMind is leading the crowd with their research on artificial intelligence and its potential positive impact. They have an array of projects, but a good example of their impact was their ability to reduce Google’s Data Center cooling bill by 40%. During a time when human activity drives an increasing need for computing power, it is essential we produce technology to combat energy use and climate change. By using historical data collected from sensors at the center, the DeepMind team was able to train a group of deep neural networks to be more efficient. By applying DeepMind’s machine learning methods to their Google data centers, they were able to decrease their energy usage drastically. The implications of this accomplishment have great potential to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency globally.
Our team at pymetrics recently secured a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation under their ‘Impact Hiring’ initiative to help companies hire Opportunity Youth: people aged 18-24 who are not in school or in work, and who havean employment rate of over 12% — triple the national average. We are working with 4 key company partners in their efforts to hire Opportunity Youth and diversify their workforce by using pymetrics’ AI to highlight their potential over their pedigree. We look forward to helping companies select individuals who are the right fit for jobs — regardless of their background or previous access to opportunity. In our case, we hope to use technology to provide access to jobs and financial independence to this unique, high potential population.
Visabot is an AI bot that helps immigrants navigate the complex legal immigration landscape, assisting with tasks such as obtaining a green card, documentation, B-2 Extension, and DACA. Immigration is often a difficult process that feels opaque and inaccessible, and Visabot has compiled the data and created a friendly bot to alleviate the stress associated the process. They use artificial intelligence to make suggestions on an immigration path, which is powered by their smart analysis of success stories. Data supporting their AI comes from information sources from the public domain and is used to support immigrant cases. Their product simplifies a potentially life-changing process.
These are just a few examples of the many companies using AI for positive, social impact. I believe that successful technology companies of the future will have an impact as a primary focus, not just an afterthought. As consumers, we can now choose to purchase from and support technology companies that are working to create the future we want to see.