The genesis of the main ideas behind the AI for Good Foundation. James Hodson, Stefano Pacifico, and Michael Witbrock all participated in the closed door sessions at The Stanford Workshop on AI and Knowledge among a select group of AI thought leaders discussing a shared vision for the future of Artificial Intelligence.
Some of the main conclusions drawn were that AI is still maturing as a discipline, that we need to strive for cleaner scientific experimentation, that we must put more resources towards fundamental research, and not overwhelm the system with corporate and military interests. Chief above all was continuing to foster such a platform to measure progress and maintain a shared vision into the future.
KDD at Bloomberg
James Hodson and Claudia Perlich organise KDD AI for Social Good Day (KDD at Bloomberg) in New, York, where a gathering close to 1,000 people share and discuss how the AI community could have an impact on global social and environmental challenges.
The opening Keynote
James Hodson provides the opening keynote speech at the Joint Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems, laying out the plan for an entity to coordinate Artificial Intelligence research with progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda.
Michael Witbrock and James Hodson delineate a first proposal for the AI for Good Foundation’s mission, its name, and initial leadership while sharing a yellow cab en route to LaGuardia airport.
The Weekly Meets
James Hodson, Stefano Pacifico, and Tom Mitchell meet weekly to discuss the finer details of the AI for Good Foundation mission and engagement of the AI research community.
Drawing up the Bylaws
The first set of bylaws are drawn up, and work begins on initial programs. IRS documentation is filed. The founding leadership team consists of James Hodson, Gary Marcus, Stefano Pacifico, and Michael Witbrock.
Making it Official
IRS grants 501(c)3 status and the foundation registers its activities in Massachusetts. ‘AI for Good’ and ‘AI4Good’ become trademarks of the foundation.
Fragile Earth Launch
The Foundation launches the ‘Fragile Earth’ community and programs in collaboration with IBM, Syngenta, the University of Minnesota, Jozef Stefan Institute AI Lab, and the Santa Fe Institute, among others.
The Foundation nominates an Executive Committee to oversee programs and partnerships, consisting of experts from across the AI research, policy, and implementation communities.
Elections to the Board
The interim Board of Directors is replaced by the first elected Board of Directors at the Foundation’s first Global Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Board of Directors consists of Abe Hsuan, James Hodson, Charlotte Stanton, and Michael Witbrock. Michael is elected as Chairman of the Board.
The core AI for Good team grows to 5 and the Foundation now has projects and operations in 6 countries.
AI for SDGs
AI for Good works with UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Princeton University, Harvard, and MIT to develop and pilot ‘AI for the SDGs’ course materials and templates for undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
Government, Industry, NGO, and public partnerships number more than 30.
Expanding Focus on SDGs
The Foundation expands its operations to new countries and now covers more than half of the SDG areas with direct programs.
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