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AI takes center stage at Google Campus presentation event

AI takes center stage at Google Campus presentation event

 


Ten teams presented cutting-edge technology innovations designed to address global hunger and improve humanitarian response.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (June 13, 2024) Today, ten international teams of the brightest minds in computer science, data analytics and economics presented their innovations to end hunger at a pitch event hosted by the United Nations World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator and World Food Programme U.S. on the Google Campus. With 309 million people facing acute hunger and 45 million facing emergency levels of hunger, fighting hunger requires strategic partnerships in addition to developing, funding and scaling cutting-edge advances. The innovations announced today leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, cloud computing and data analytics to improve and speed WFP's supply chain efficiency, emergency coordination, data collection and even the delivery of school meals.

“This program is a reminder that the future of humanitarian action lies in strategic partnerships. Today we have seen how AI, machine learning, cloud computing and data analytics are revolutionizing our efforts. With 309 million people facing severe hunger, funding and grant support from organizations like Google is not only beneficial but essential. Through support like this, we can develop, fund and scale innovations to ensure more efficient and effective responses to the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges,” said Bernhard Kovács, Head of WFP's Innovation Accelerator.

“Google.org is pleased to continue our support for WFP through this grant, as well as our grant support to their Innovation Accelerator and the U.S. World Food Programme. We're already seeing ways in which AI and advanced technology can create positive impact, and we hope the innovative approaches we support will ultimately help WFP make progress towards ending hunger,” said Brigitte Heuer-Gosselink, director of Product Impact at Google.org.

In August 2023, Google.org awarded the U.S. World Food Programme a $2.8 million grant to support the WFP Innovation Accelerator. Google provided pro bono support to assist WFP in the design of the WFP Humanitarian Ventures Accelerator, a groundbreaking acceleration program designed to accelerate and scale 10 ventures to strengthen hunger relief response. WFP selected and funded 10 teams in January 2024 to build, scale, and pilot test their solutions for six months in some of the 120 countries and territories supported by WFP, including Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, Somalia, and Ukraine. The teams worked closely with WFP innovation consultants and received support from Google mentors to build their solutions and scale their impact. Today's presentation shared the progress made by the following groundbreaking innovations:

1. DARTS (Data Assurance and Reconciliation Tool Simplified) is a web app that uses machine learning to help WFP field staff ensure accurate distribution by verifying that people have received assistance.

2. The ETC Chatbot will establish a line of information and communication between humanitarian organizations and affected people, ensuring easy access to critical information, providing ongoing crisis assistance, and facilitating a coordinated emergency response among humanitarian actors.

3. GeoTar is a user-friendly geospatial vulnerability profiling and targeting tool that reduces reliance on manually collected household data, especially in situations where data is scarce and difficult to collect.

4. SCOUT models WFP’s supply chain for smarter sourcing and delivery decisions.

5. ML 4 AA (Machine Learning for Predictive Action) is a predictive action tool that uses AI to improve drought risk forecasts and speed up early warnings and assistance.

6. Prisma is an operations control tower that improves operational efficiency through advanced analytics for supply and risk management.

7. R2C2 (Rapid Response Connectivity Carrier) will use tethered drones that act as 300-foot-tall communications towers that can fly 24/7 to improve coordination during emergencies.

8. Route the Meals applies mathematical models to optimize school meal routes, storage, and distribution systems.

9. SHAPES (Shocks and Assistance Platform for Economic Simulation) is a tool that simulates the impact of crises on families and suggests appropriate resources to optimize the effectiveness of aid.

10. The UN AI Booking Hub is an AI-powered mission planning tool that suggests the quickest route itineraries, saving aid workers valuable time and increasing resource efficiency.

“Today's showcase highlighted the transformative potential of advanced technologies in the fight against global hunger,” said Dorota Amin, World Food Programme's chief philanthropy and partnerships officer. “The innovations presented demonstrate how AI and machine learning can revolutionize our humanitarian work, making us more efficient and effective. We are incredibly grateful for Google's support, which enables WFP to develop, fund and scale breakthrough innovations that will eradicate hunger around the world.”

Building on WFP’s tradition of innovation, the WFP Innovation Accelerator was launched in 2015 to inspire new ideas, drive pilot projects, and scale high-impact innovations in partnership with WFP’s global network in more than 120 countries and territories. Based in Munich, Germany, the WFP Innovation Accelerator has grown to be one of the world’s leading social impact startup accelerators. Since 2015, WFP Innovation Accelerator has raised more than $295 million in grant funding and hosted 56 bootcamps to support 497 teams. In 2023, together with WFP’s regional innovation hubs, innovation teams in country offices, and network of portfolio ventures, the Accelerator has implemented 14 programs addressing a wide range of social impact and sustainability issues, including climate change, primary health care, women’s equality, and emergency response.

For more information about WFP’s Innovation Accelerator, visit www.innovation.wfp.org.

About the United Nations World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator

The WFP Innovation Accelerator was launched in 2015 by the United Nations World Food Programme to inspire new ideas, accelerate pilot projects, and scale high-impact innovations by connecting with WFP's global network and field operations in more than 120 countries and territories. Based in Munich, Germany, the WFP Innovation Accelerator has grown to be one of the world's leading social impact startup accelerators. In 2023, the WFP Innovation Accelerator ran 20 programs addressing a wide range of social impact and sustainability issues, including climate change, primary health care, gender equality, and emergency response. The portfolio, consisting of more than 70 active innovations and 66 alumni innovation initiatives, reached more than 60 million people in 70 countries and territories in 2023. Since its inception, innovations supported by the WFP Innovation Accelerator have secured more than $295 million in grant funding.

Follow us on Twitter @wfpinnovation

Website: https://innovation.wfp.org/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/wfp-innovation/

WFP IA media page: https://innovation.wfp.org/media

About the United Nations World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's leading humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and building pathways to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the effects of climate change through food assistance.

About World Food Programme USA

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support helps strengthen America's enduring tradition of feeding needy families around the world. For more information, visit wfpusa.org.

About Google.org

Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, combines financial resources, product donations and technical expertise to bring the best of Google to solve humanity's greatest challenges, empowering disadvantaged communities and creating opportunity for all. Google.org partners with nonprofits, social enterprises and civil society organizations that have a high potential to make a big impact in the communities they serve and create scalable, meaningful change through their work.

Media ContactToula AthasWorld Food Program [email protected]

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.wfpusa.org/news-release/ai-focused-humanitarian-innovations-take-center-stage-pitch-event-google-campus-wfp-innovation-accelerator-wfp-usa/

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