Artificial intelligence (AI), is no longer an sci-fi term, it’s something which everyone is talking about now-a-days. It was not that long ago that AI was only the sci-fi term and topic of discussion for some academic conferences, but now it is the part of mainstream. With the advances in AI, machines are seeping their way into our lives and affecting us in numerous ways like how we live, work, think, entertain ourselves etc. There are hundreds or thousands of examples and applications of AI like chatbots, voice-enabled personal assistants, driver-less vehicles etc., which we are using these days in our day-to-day life. In the recent past, AI has its impact on almost every field in one or other sense. As of late, AI has started making it’s presence felt even in the field of charity. With latest developments in technology and growth in our knowledge about global issues, charities also set their mission to meet the new and demanding needs of society in every field like poverty, animal welfare, cancer, research, HIV awareness, alcohol and drug abuse, environmental protection and climate change etc. Organizations in charity sector are actively working on using the endless possibilities of AI to achieve their vision, mission and make a difference for humanity!
In this article, let’s talk about how AI is making its way in numerous charity sectors –
AI for donor analytics
We all know about the capabilities of machine learning in making system learn from data, identify patterns and taking decisions without human interventions. Charity sector organizations are using machine learning and AI for donor analytics to get better understanding of the donor and its behavior. With the help of machine learning, a predictive model can be build by using some basic data like age, income, occupation, family status, donation history, likes and dislikes of the donor. This predictive model can be used for finding new donors; reducing donor outreach cost etc. This will definitely help needy patients to meet with prospective donors with higher probability of compatibility to save valuable lives.
AI in agriculture
Agriculture, being a major industry and foundation of the economy, the living condition of population depending upon agriculture is not something to feel proud about. The factors like climate change, population growth, food security concerns are playing major role for the same. How can AI help?
More than 60 percent of the world’s population depends on agriculture and among that around 80 percent population is living in poverty. So if we can raise the level of agriculture with technology like AI then we can lift people out of poverty. In other sense, making agricultural development a poverty reduction tool would be the greatest charity for humankind.
There are many AI advances like agricultural robots for harvesting crops at a higher volume and faster pace, crop &soil monitoring software to make perfect crop and Machine learning’s predictive analysis to predict various climate related issues, helping the population in agriculture sector. But still these advancements, due to their cost, are far from the reach of poor. The prime motive of organizations & government must be to make AI advanced tools and software for agriculture less expensive so that everyone can use them and get benefit. Agree?
Intelligent personal assistants
AI is helping various charity organizations by making intelligent personal assistants who can help people by advising them whenever they need. These intelligent personal assistants are only a touch away to us and there would be no boundaries like office hours or busy phone lines. One such virtual personal assistant has been developed for Arthritis Research UK to provide assistance to the folks with more quick answers of their queries on arthritis. We would not be wrong if we wish to donate some money for charity by using these intelligent virtual personal assistants. We just need to give the command by our voice and these bots will follow it. For example, if we want to give some donation to a particular organization like UNICEF then by only saying, pay so-and-so money to UNICEF, will do the work. That is how AI is reducing the cost and increasing reach as well as making contributions to charities quick and simple.
Smartphone Apps using AI
Many giant tech companies are positively working to help needy ones by artificial intelligence. In this scenario, Microsoft released an app named ‘seeing AI’ to help visually impaired people. It is an intelligent camera app that tells what is around you. On the same track, to help visually impaired persons, Australian based company Aipoly has also created an app named ‘Aipoly Vision’ which uses deep learning, an AI technique, to identify the objects all without the use of internet. What an amazing use of AI for humanity! Isn’t it?
Breaking the language barriers
Humanity must not suffer due to the barrier of languages therefore charity organizations need to translate their contents. Most charity organizations, being small and voluntary based, tend to translate their contents themselves with the help of staff members, of course not qualified for translation assignments and leads to inaccurate translations that can negatively impact the whole organisation. We can understand the necessity of accurate translation and vital information in native language when these organizations need to provide effective aids and disaster relief in affected remote areas. For such kind of accurate translations, there are organizations who are specialized in doing these kind of translations. One of the best examples is a non-profit organization named ‘Translators without Borders’ who is offering interpreting & translating support to other charities and non-profit organizations especially in the field of education.
Another example can be taken from The Children’s society, UK who is breaking the language barriers for refugees and migrants in London. They are using Microsoft’s AI-powered live translation tools to translate the speech into another language in real time. That is how, with the hep of online live translations, AI is helping us to access the services without worrying about the barrier of languages. This technology enables charity sector organizations to reach to the population who have different first language at very low cost.
Think of the remote areas where medical facilities and healthcare services are very few and far. AI with computer-based diagnostics can help population of such remote areas and the use of medical expert system can be very useful for these situations. Mobile Medical Expert Systems (mMES) have also been developed to serve remote area population in the countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya etc. Although maximum population of these remote areas are not computer literates but with the help of advancements in mobile phones and its increased usage, government as well charity sector organizations are able to serve them with mobile Medical Expert Systems (mMES) at their door step. But, it is very unfortunate that still the potential of AI to improve the healthcare in remote areas is not up to the mark due to the lack of good trained data.
Charity sector has already started using and taking advantage of the endless possibilities of AI but still many areas related to it needs to get filtered through this emerging technology i.e. AI. In future, it is certain that new AI applications will continue to emerge and transforms the way charities work.
I hope after reading this article you have got a glimpse of AI advances in the field of charity. Please feel free to post your suggestions/feedback in the comment section below.
Author Bio: Gaurav Leekha is a passionate technical content writer, primarily for the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), Speech Processing, and Python. He has 7+ years’ experience of teaching in the field of computer science. He is also pursuing Ph.D. degree in the field of Machine learning and along with that serving as the reviewer of various national as well as international journals including International Journal of speech technology (IJST), Springe