Google's AI Impact Challenge - $25 Million For Social Good
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 30 October 2018

At the Google AI For Social Good event,, issued a call to organizations around the world to submit their ideas for how they could use AI to help address societal challenges. Selected organizations will receive funding from a $25M pool together with support from Google’s AI experts to transform ideas into action. is Google's nonprofit arm which, since 2005, has invested in innovative organizations using technology to build a better world. Introducing the AI Impact Challenge its Application Guide states:

At Google, we believe that artificial intelligence can provide new ways of approaching problems and meaningfully improve people’s lives. That’s why we’re excited to support organizations that are using the power of AI to address social and environmental challenges.

It goes on to say that it is looking for projects across a range of social impact domains and levels of technical expertise, from organizations that are experienced in AI to those with an idea for how they could be putting their data to better use. 

Ideas will be judged according to the following criteria:

  1. Impact. How will the proposed project address a societal challenge, and to what extent? Is the application grounded in research and data about the problem and the solution? Is there a clear plan to deploy the AI model for real-world impact, and what are the expected outcomes?
  2. Feasibility. Does the team have a well-developed, realistic plan to execute on the proposal? Does the team have a plan to access a meaningful dataset and technical expertise to apply AI to the problem? Have they identified the right partners and domain experts needed for implementation?
  3. Use of AI. Does the proposal apply AI technology to tackle the issue it seeks to address?
  4. Scalability. If successful, how can this project scale beyond the initial proposal? Can it scale directly, serve as a model for other efforts, or advance the field?
  5. Responsibility. Does the proposed use of artificial intelligence align with Google’s AI Principles? See Google’s Responsible AI Practices for practical guidance.

The Challenge is open to any nonprofit organization, public charity, or for-profit business from around the world (with the usual exceptions of Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria), provided that they apply on behalf of a project that has an explicit charitable purpose. Individuals without organizational affiliation are ineligible. 

Applications have to be in English using an online form that is estimated to take a couple of hours to complete. You can't save partly completed applications forms so you are recommended to draft your answers to its 52 questions in advance. You have to provide an outlining the societal problem your project would address together with details of your proposed solution, types of data and use of AI and impacts and risks.

The deadline for applications is January 20, 2019. If you are selected to receive a grant, the standard grant agreement will require any intellectual property created with grant funding from Google be made available for free to the public under a permissive open source license. 

The AI For Social Good site has a set of educational resources including examples of what AI and ML can do which could be useful as sources of inspiration.



More Information

AI For Social Good

Impact Challenge FAQ

Google AI Impact Challenge Application Guide

Using AI for social good

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2018 )