Tech Trust and Microsoft launch ‘AI for Good’

Microsoft have launched an exclusive workshop programme, in partnership with Tech Trust, designed to help charities bring their AI vision to life.

Chloe Green | 2nd Jul 18
This is a a picture of a toy robot using a computer, representing artificial intelligence, or AI

Tech Trust and Microsoft are offering for free, one-to-one AI envisioning workshops for charities interested in using machine learning and data to further their mission.

The announcement came last Thursday at an exclusive event for charities run by Tech Trust, which looked at how charities can harness the benefits of Microsoft’s cloud technologies.

The AI envisioning programme, which will be taking place in locations across the UK in September this year, is designed to help each charity flesh out an idea they have around machine learning.

Delivered by some of Microsoft’s expert partners in the area of AI, the workshops will be tailored to the needs of each charity, taking a strategic look into the charity’s mission and and how its unique pain points could potentially be solved by AI.

They will include an interrogation of a charity’s data quality and discussion around how it could be better used to fulfil their mission, as well as how to make a business case and proof-of-concept pilot for an AI project they have envisioned.

A subset of charities that are selected to participate will win a sum of money from Microsoft and Tech Trust that will go towards building their proof-of-concept.

Speaking at the event on Thursday, Eve Jospeph, UK Responsibility Manager and Tech4Good Lead at Microsoft said:

“This AI4Good partnership with the Tech Trust is not looking for finished projects or fully scoped out plans.”

“Instead we want to uncover sparks of ideas – ideas which our talented AI partners can share their expertise on and help grow. Technology can only truly change people’s lives when they have access to the capabilities and benefits it provides – this pilot is aiming to bring these capabilities to our charity sector and hopefully make this rather dauting prospect a little more real.”

She added: “I cannot wait to uncover the relevance and impact AI can have within the sector. It would be wonderful to find ideas such as the Children’s Society using live translation to overcome language barriers within their work.”

Other great examples of Microsoft’s machine learning technology being used for social good include Farm Beats, a project which uses low cost sensors and drones to asses different factors affecting decisions and actions on farms.

Chesapeake Bay Conservation is another charity using AI to carry out advanced mapping for conservation.

Applications for the Microsoft AI workshops are open now until the 13th July for a limited number of charities to attend. To apply, go to application page here.