How AI is Revolutionizing Social Impact Work

Insights and Best Practices for Creating Lasting Change

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a rich history dating back to the mid-20th century when computer scientists began exploring the possibility of creating machines that could think and learn like humans. Since then, AI has made incredible strides in natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning, allowing for the development of systems that can analyze vast amounts of data, learn from experience, and make predictions or decisions. AI is now used in a wide range of fields, including social impact work where it has the potential to transform the way we approach complex challenges and create lasting change.

According to a report by Accenture, AI has the potential to add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. This is primarily due to its ability to improve productivity, reduce costs, and drive innovation. But the impact of AI goes beyond just economic growth. AI can also help us address some of the most pressing social and environmental issues facing our world today.

As Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of Stanford University's Human-Centered AI Institute, says: "AI can be a game-changer for social good." By analyzing data on everything from demographics to cultural norms, AI can help us tailor our solutions to the unique needs of different groups and ensure that everyone has equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services in Pennsylvania implemented an AI-powered predictive analytics system to identify children at high risk of being abused or neglected. The system analyzed data from child welfare and juvenile justice systems to direct resources and support to these children, resulting in a 47% reduction in the number of children placed in out-of-home care.

This is also especially important for marginalized communities that have historically been underserved or overlooked by traditional approaches to social impact. By harnessing the power of AI, we can break down barriers, create more inclusive solutions, and empower diverse communities to drive positive change.

Be My Eyes, a mobile app that connects blind or visually impaired individuals with sighted volunteers, has integrated an AI-powered chat function that uses image recognition technology to describe objects to the user. The app has been downloaded by over 4 million people and has helped visually impaired individuals navigate their environment more effectively and independently. 

So how can non-profits and purpose-driven brands leverage the power of AI to create social impact? Here are a couple of AI tools that can be used:

1. IBM Watson Studio: IBM Watson Studio is an AI platform that provides tools for data scientists, developers, and subject matter experts to build and train AI models. It can be used to analyze data from a variety of sources, including social media, to gain insights into the needs and preferences of different communities.

2. DataRobot: DataRobot is an AI platform that automates the process of building and deploying predictive models. It can be used to analyze data on everything from healthcare outcomes to environmental impact, helping non-profits and purpose-driven brands better understand the challenges they are trying to address.

AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach social impact work. Think Rubix is working closely with its do-good clients and allies to ensure they are leveraging the power of AI to its fullest potential in order to tackle some of the world's most pressing and complex problems. As we continue to explore its possibilities, we must also remain vigilant about ensuring that it is used ethically and responsibly, with a focus on creating real, tangible benefits for people and our planet.