Google AI Impact Challenge awards grants to 7 health initiatives


Google announced the 20 winners of its AI Impact Challenge on May 7, including seven projects focused specifically on improving public health through the use of artificial intelligence.

The challenge was open to any organization using AI to tackle social and environmental issues around the world, whether they had extensive experience with AI or were just beginning to explore potential uses of the technology. Each of the 20 selected teams will receive a grant from a $25 million funding pool, coaching from AI experts, access to and consulting from the Google Cloud and the opportunity to join the Launchpad Accelerator program.

Here are the seven teams using AI to impact public health, according to Google.

  • Makerere University: Researchers at the Ugandan university are using AI to analyze air quality data from low-cost air sensors in order to develop pollution-related health interventions.

  • Nexleaf Analytics: The Los Angeles-based nonprofit is building data models to track vaccine storage, using AI to predict degradation, determine the value of at-risk medications and inform the creation of an end-to-end system for safe vaccine delivery.

  • Turning Point: The addiction treatment center, a subsidiary of Australia's Eastern Health system, is analyzing ambulance clinical records with AI to illuminate suicide trends and potential intervention points.

  • La Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières: The French organization (known as Doctors Without Borders in the U.S.) is enabling medical staff to prescribe the correct antibiotics with the help of facial recognition and a mobile app.

  • Crisis Text Line: The New York City-based crisis intervention nonprofit is introducing natural language processing and counselor capacity data to better manage volume and counselor ability, thus reducing wait times.

  • Hand Talk: Using a mobile app and web browser translator, the Brazilian organization is increasing accessibility by using AI to translate Portuguese speech and text into Brazilian Sign Language, signed by a digital avatar named Hugo.

  • The Trevor Project: Based in West Hollywood, Calif., the nonprofit is working to determine the suicide risk of LGBTQ youth and improve its support services using natural language processing and sentiment analysis within its crisis phone, text and chat hotlines.

More articles about AI:
Google is developing AI that can detect lung cancer earlier than trained radiologists
FDA clears AI-powered, cloud-based heart murmur detection system
Mammogram-reading AI can detect breast cancer risk 5 years before onset

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