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Artificial IntelligenceIn a transformative move set to redefine the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in social impact, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, in collaboration with data.org, has unveiled the “Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Inclusion” Challenge (AI2AI Challenge). This ambitious global initiative calls for groundbreaking AI solutions to promote inclusive growth and economic empowerment across diverse communities.

The AI2AI Challenge, announced at the Accelerate: Data for Social Impact Conference, emphasizes the critical need for innovative AI applications that deliver tangible benefits to all societal segments. The initiative invites organizations worldwide to present their proven AI solutions ready for scaling, offering substantial funding and technical support to the most promising projects.

Shamina Singh, Founder and President of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, highlighted the importance of this initiative, stating, “Five years ago, we made an early bet on the power of data to advance social impact. Those early investments laid a foundation for the growing field of Impact Data Science and have contributed to the demand for similar interventions for AI. Today, we are proud to be working with data.org to incentivize safe and trustworthy AI applications that empower communities and people. This challenge will shine a light on scalable solutions that help realize the promise and potential for AI to benefit society.”

Echoing Singh’s sentiments, Danil Mikhailov, Executive Director of data.org, added, “In the age of AI, working collaboratively across disciplines to tackle challenges like inclusive growth and climate has never been more urgent. This is data.org’s fourth global challenge—and second with Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth—to source, support, and scale breakthrough solutions, with more than 2,000 applications worldwide submitted to date. With each challenge, we not only grow our network of peers and partners, but we also learn more about how to most effectively build capacity, empower local communities, and ultimately build the field of data and AI for social impact.”

Organizations interested in participating can apply through the data.org website by July 18, 2024, at 7:00 pm ET. A distinguished panel of judges and experts in AI and its social applications will review the submissions. The esteemed judges include:

  • Vilas Dhar, President, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
  • Raghu Dharmaraju, CEO, ARTPARK
  • Ivana Feldfeber, Co-Founder and Executive Director, DataGénero
  • Angela Oduor Lungati, Executive Director, Ushahidi
  • Anna Makanju, VP of Global Affairs, OpenAI
  • Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Neera Nundy, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Dasra
  • Navrina Singh, Founder and CEO, Credo AI
  • Uyi Stewart, Chief Data and Technology Officer, data.org
  • Greg Ulrich, Chief AI and Data Officer, Mastercard

Awardees will benefit from grant funding to advance and scale their solutions, technical expertise, and mentorship from Mastercard and data.org teams. They will also gain access to select Mastercard resources and programs, such as Start Path, designed to support their innovative approaches further. Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation based in India, provides additional support for the Challenge.

The AI2AI Challenge underscores AI’s vital role in driving social impact and inclusive growth. By encouraging the development of AI solutions that are safe, trustworthy, and capable of making a real difference in people’s lives, Mastercard and data.org are setting a new standard for the application of AI in addressing global challenges.

For more details on the challenge and to submit applications, visit data.org.




Written by: Michelle Warner