From our experience developing and deploying AI-for-social-good solutions to help healthcare workers in villages of developing countries weigh newborns using just a smartphone, cotton farmers fight pest attacks, and tuberculosis-control programs find and support TB patients, and advising organizations like the WHO, UN ITU, and governments on AI, I will share some lessons learned, and opportunities for AI to have large-scale impact across domains like health, agriculture, education, and financial inclusion. Such impact will require novel approaches across algorithms, human factors, regulatory frameworks, and systems thinking. AI-for-social-good also offers a rich source of problems for AI, spanning computer vision, weakly-supervised learning, causal reasoning, domain adaptation, uncertainty calibration, explainability, computing on low-resource devices, and privacy-preserving learning. The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence is an independent nonprofit research institute that develops and deploys AI-for-social-good solutions in the developing world.
Dr. Rahul Panicker (EE PhD), as Chief Innovation Officer, heads research at the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Prior to this, he was co-founder of Embrace, a for-profit social enterprise that has helped over 500,000 babies worldwide through low-cost incubators that work without electricity. He is an MIT TR35 awardee, World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Industrial Design Society of America Gold winner, and an Echoing Green Fellow. He holds an MS/PhD in EE from Stanford University, is an alumnus of the Stanford d.school, and has a B.Tech from IIT Madras.