Artificial intelligence has become a major force in the world, one that inspires both hope and fear, that is still growing increasingly powerful. While many people are concerned about the implications of AI—taking over jobs from humans, turning against humanity when we are no longer useful, etc.—there are still many optimistic people harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to make a positive impact on the world.
The AI for Good Foundation is one such group who believe in the power of AI to benefit humanity. Researchers the world around are working with AI for health benefits in projects such as developing new cancer drugs and predicting heart attacks.
Artificial intelligence is likely to benefit charities as a whole, according to a recent post by Rhodrie Davies of Giving Thought. From his perspective, AI can help give philanthropy advice by recommending causes based on a users’ values and experiences, finding those which are most effective at contributing to certain issues, and even advising on legal requirements associated with charitable donations such as taxation. With these advancements, charitable giving will become more accessible and personalized.
But AI has even further benefits to the world, everything from creating safer roadways, to helping people with disabilities have access to internet content, to solving starvation and saving energy.
These are the top 10 companies using AI to make a difference in the world in 2017:
RallyBound is opening the conversation about using intelligent chatbots to help charities reach their fundraising goals. A worthwhile fundraising platform on their own, they have also begun sharing posts like this one that outline the potential for artificial intelligence with advanced natural language processing to impact how charities reach out to and interact with their donors as well as answer their questions.
While no fundraising platform currently offers this capability due to limitations on current technology, the fact that RallyBound is bringing this idea into public view makes them a force for good in the world. (And we hope we will see them among the first adopters when the technology is available to them.)
Facebook—some people love it, some people hate it. Either way, this widely-used social media platform is using artificial intelligence to benefit humanity in several ways.
First, and arguably most important, Facebook recently announced their work using AI to help predict and prevent suicide.
Facebook is also trying to make the service more accessible to those with disabilities. Projects like the brain-typing interface that they announced in 2017 will contribute greatly to these efforts.
Mark Zuckerberg’s charity also recently bought an AI startup from Canada to help eradicate disease.
FeedMee is using AI to make sure the world isn’t going hungry. In short, it’s a food recommendation app. They use an artificial intelligence named Olly to recommend places to eat to users based on their preferences.
But FeedMee is giving back. For each booking through the app, Feedmee also donates a meal to charity. That way, no one goes hungry.
Google is known to be a major player in artificial intelligence, and they have been buying AI startups for years. While their work helps deliver search results that are accurate and accessible using natural human phrases thanks to their efforts on NLP, they are also working with AI with their video platform, Youtube.
Their machine learning algorithms that can now identify specific aspects of a video from a smile to laughter to applause–and this identification, according to VentureBeat, can make content more accessible for people with disabilities.
Drift is saving money and time in the energy sector. They use artificial intelligence to predict how much power users will need the next day, in order to request that power from their P2P network. They factor in data such as local averages and weather to determine a more exact amount of energy that will be needed, increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
Not only can this save energy and manpower, users also benefit by saving money. While this may not seem like a major game-changer to many, being stuck in the winter with no heat because power bills are too high is something less likely to occur as power becomes more affordable.
Also for those people living with disabilities is Content Clarifier which is a project from IBM researchers using their own noteworthy AI, Watson.
The project aims to help clarify content by dividing up long sentences and replacing idioms, specifically for the benefit of people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities. Their intention is to test by helping autistic high schoolers understand education documents and the like in their transition into college.
Elon Musk doesn’t want humans to become irrelevant in the face of artificial intelligence. He also has a long track record of increasing efficiency, as we can see with Tesla and SpaceX.
Neuralink is his newest company that intends to let human brains work with AI to prevent us becoming “other” from our creations. It also proposes that we will be able to speak brain-to-brain without the need for physical speech, like some sort of techno-telepathy. Their brain-machine interfaces will likely have benefits that no one has even thought about yet.
Both protecting our fate as a species while generating new methods of communication that can be used by everyone including those with speech disabilities land Neuralink as a serious company that harnesses AI for the benefit of mankind.
FEDO is using artificial intelligence to help users prevent lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Their name stands for “Feel Good, Do Better.” Their AI can predict lifestyle diseases and offer solutions to help mitigate those risks. The company is bringing awareness to these diseases that many people do not realize they are putting themselves at risk of. By offering knowledge that is tailor-made thanks to AI, FEDO can help humanity prevent unnecessary complications.
Not only will that help people live longer, healthier lives, it could also decrease the burden on the medical system, lower insurance rates, and more.
Yet another Elon Musk company, Tesla is also using artificial intelligence to make the world a better, safer place. The company is known for their electric, self-driving cars that have the potential to both save resources and are paving the way to a completely new, safer method of travel.
Although wide-scale adoption of self-driving cars is still riddled with unresolved issues, it is expected that, eventually, nearly every automobile on the road will be self-driving.
Increased safety is just one of the benefits we can expect, along with increased efficiency, and Tesla is edging towards this feature all the while advancing artificial intelligence itself.
Virta is reversing diabetes without medication or surgery. Using artificial intelligence, mobile phones, and cloud data, Virta bridges the gap between patients and providers. Users log their information within Virta, and healthcare professionals receive this data to generate personalized adjustments and advice about diet and medications. When patients follow the stringent protocols advised to them, Virta can help patients overcome diabetes. They lay claim to some impressive stats—87% of patients were able to reduce or eliminate insulin and 57% lowered their HBA1C levels below diabetic levels.
Bonus, Number 11: MIRI
MIRI is making sure artificial intelligence itself is making a positive impact on the world and that we avoid the scarier situations that people often see in the news. They accept donations right through their website for anyone who wants to support ethical AI moving forward.