Google's AI Competition Aims To Address, Resolve Major Global Challenges

It may have begun with search for this Mountain View, California company, but Google this week launched a global competition in the field of artificial intelligence in an effort to solve some of the world's major challenges. The hope is that AI could have a positive impact on society through the development of applications and research of the technology. 

Spearheaded by, Alphabet's charitable arm, this week the company launched AI for Social Good and the Google AI Impact Challenge. The project is an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions worldwide to submit their ideas on how to use AI to help address social and environmental challenges. 

"We’re applying AI to a wide range of problems, partnering with external organizations to work toward solutions," wrote Jeff Dean, Google senior fellow; and Jacquelline Fuller, president of, in a blog post. "But we’re far from having all the answers — or even knowing all the questions."



Grant recipients will receive coaching from Google’s AI experts; funding from a $25 million pool, and access to resources including computing power, an ML-focused accelerator, training, and more. The individual grants will range from $500,000 to $2 million, but the size of the stipend will be determined based on the needs of the project. 

The application process began on October 29, 2018, and will close on January 22, 2019.

Organizations selected to receive grants will be announced in spring 2019.

The criteria includes the impact the project will have on change, the feasibility of the project and whether the team has a realistic plan to execute on the proposal, can the project scale beyond the proposal, and does the proposal use AI to align with Google's principals. 

Some of the examples that Dean and Fuller outlined in the post include projects around wildlife conservation, employment, flood prediction, wildfire prevention, and infant health.

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