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Sep 4-5, 2018: Training
Sep 5-7, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

AI: A force for good

Jake Porway (DataKind)
1:45pm-2:25pm Friday, September 7, 2018
Secondary topics:  Ethics, Privacy, and Security
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Data scientists

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to apply AI for social good either in your free time or through your businesses
  • Gain insight into the different considerations and challenges around using AI to tackle humanitarian issues and the importance of human-centered design


The field of AI continues to expand every day. We regularly hear reports about more and more companies investing in AI capacity and countless new ways deep learning is being applied to do everything from enhancing marketing efforts to consumers to bringing autonomous driving to the world to making our lives more convenient with voice-activated personal assistants.

There also exists tremendous potential for these new technologies to be applied for social good, but outside of the business world, people aren’t always sure how or where to start. What place does AI have in government? How can it help address issues like global health, access to education, or even supporting democratic freedoms? Many groups now exist to study the ethical and societal impacts of AI in an academic context, but who is actually putting this work into practice?

Jake Porway sheds light on AI’s true potential to impact the world in a positive way. Drawing on his experience as the head of DataKind, an organization applying AI for social good, Jake shares best practices, discusses the importance of using human-centered design principles, and addresses ethical concerns and challenges encountered when using AI to tackle complex humanitarian issues. Jake cuts through the terminology and confusion between data science, machine learning, and AI, presenting real-world examples showcasing inspiring ways AI can be used, from helping organizations deliver vaccines more effectively to creating chatbots that connect people to critical services during a natural disaster to helping at-risk students reach graduation and more.

Join the conversation and find out about how AI can be leveraged for good—and how you can apply your skills to make a difference.

Photo of Jake Porway

Jake Porway


Jake Porway is the founder and executive director of DataKind, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of data science in the service of humanity. He is an alum of the New York Times R&D Lab and has worked at Google and Bell Labs. A recognized leader in the Data for Good Movement, he has spoken at IBM, Microsoft, Google, and the White House. Jake is also a PopTech Social Innovation fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He holds a BS in computer science from Columbia University and an MS and PhD in statistics from UCLA.