The 2020 AI4SDGs Research Program now opened for public application for projects

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are officially adopted by the United Nations in 2015, aiming to solve development issues in society, economy and environment dimensions in an integrated way from 2015 to 2030, and turn to the road of sustainable development. The SDGs call for action by "all countries - poor, rich and middle-income - to promote prosperity while protecting the planet." The SDGs specify that countries shall consistently commit to eradicating poverty, pursuing good health and well-being, ensuring quality education, achieving gender equality, ensuring clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, ensuring access to affordable and clean energy, fostering innovation and building infrastructure, reducing inequalities, developing sustainable cities and communities, combating climate change and protecting the environment, etc.

Artificial Intelligence is a disruptive technology that changes society as well as an enabling technology that drives social progress. The realization of global sustainable development goals should be supported by AI, which is one of the core topics of the Digital Cooperation Roadmap released recently by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

With this background, The Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development Goals (AI4SDGs) Think Tank launch the AI4SDGs Research Program globally today, with financial supports from AI companies and institutions. Special Thanks go to Baidu, Xiaomi, Megvii, Didi, Yitu, Yidu Cloud for their financial support. For the AI4SDGs Research Program, All the research reports will be freely open for public, and all the AI systems as the output of the projects will be opensource on the AI4SDGs Think Tank and other open source platforms (e.g. Github).


Fabrizio Hochschild (Under Secretary General of the United Nations)
“Please accept my warm congratulations for the launch of the AI4SDGs Think Tank. This initiative is a welcome contribution to the world’s collective work to harness AI to benefit sustainable development, human rights and the whole of humanity, leaving no one behind. It is also a remarkable and exciting show of support for the achievement of the SDGs. I hope that we can collaborate closely. In particular, I would like to underline my support for the use of open source software in this effort. We have to find better ways to openly and collaboratively use technology to create universally-shared gains. Technology can and should be designed to bring us together, rather than drive us apart. Congratulations again, and I sincerely look forward to seeing how this Think Tank will help bring more digital cooperation.”
Kaifu Lee (CEO, Sinovation Ventures)
“Congratulations to the establishment of AI4SDG Think Tank and AI4SDG Research Program. I think it is a meaningful plan because I have deep faith in Tech for Social Good. While the technology itself is neutral, I believe in the goodness of humanity. Significant technology advancements in the past, such as electricity, steam engine, Internet, or mobile phone, computer, have eventually brought more positive effects and progresses to human society which far outweighs their negative impact. In recent years AI has been developing very quickly, and we can say that AI is an invention which is as important as the next electricity or next Internet in the fourth industrial revolution. I believe that AI will have far more positive opportunities and powers. So in terms of SDG, whether it is clean energy, climate change or increasing shared resources, and more, I believe there will be more applications of AI. So I think that today's think tank will make more positive impressions, so that people would understand that AI would bring the world more positive impressions and impacts.”
Lan Xue (Dean of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University)
“Congratulations for the launch of AI4SDG initiative. The recent development of AI has generated many hopes as well as fears, but we all know that AI is just another tool that can generate benefits as well as risks for the human society, so it’s actually how and where we use it that really matter. At the same time, SDGs represents the common policy goals of over 100 billions of people in 193 countries. The challenge is how to implement these SDGs. So AI4SDG is a perfect marriage between honourable goals as well as cutting edge technology. So I really like to encourage AI community worldwide, to support the development of AI4SDG, and also to apply the research programs and fellowships that supported by AI4SDG, thank you.”
Tiejun Huang (Dean of Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence; Professor, Peking University; Vice president, Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Peking University)
“We should foster a vibrant academic and technological innovation ecosystem, promote the development and in-depth application of artificial intelligence, and accelerate the sustainable development of human beings, the environment and intelligence."
Yi Zeng (Director of Research Center for AI Ethics and Sustainable Development, Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence; Professor, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Expert of the UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group on AI Ethics)
“Global Sustainable Development Goals are a shared vision of harmonious coexistence of humankind and the environment. As a disruptive technology that changes society profoundly, artificial intelligence should become an accelerator of realizing sustainable development goals and being deeply integrated into all 17 pillars of UNSDGs, to comprehensively promote the steady achievement of the goals. I sincerely invite research institutes and teams, enterprises and organizations from all around the world to participate in the application and funding of the research program.”
Shangyi Chen (Chairman of Baidu Technical Committee)
"It is a great pleasure for Baidu to join AI4SDGs Research Program. As an AI platform company, Baidu has been dedicated to consistently lowering the threshold of AI technology through the multi-dimensional open-source of the platform, data and technology, providing infrastructures for sustainable development to the society and industries in the AI era, and providing AI talent guarantee for the development of intelligent society through multi-level talents cultivation, which is the “Everyone Can AI” vision of Baidu. Baidu hopes to cooperate with industries, universities and research institutes to contribute more to the sustainable development of society, economy and environment through AI, and we look forward to the successive great achievements of AI4SDGs Research Program.”
Baoqiu Cui (Vice President, Chairman of Technical Committee, MI)
“The critical concept of Mi's social responsibility is to improve human life with science and technology and become a respected corporate citizen. With ‘products, users, environment and society’ as the four core areas of social responsibility, we firmly believe that artificial intelligence technology can bring about positive disruptive changes to human beings, play a vital role in the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, and vigorously promote the long-term sustainable development of the world in the three dimensions of economy, society and environment. We welcome more enterprises and institutions to join the AI4SDGs Research Program to contribute to the sustainable development of mankind. We believe that AI technology can help Mi accomplish our mission and goal as soon as possible: let everyone in the world enjoy the beautiful life brought by technology.”
Yuncheng Xu (COO of MEGVII; Dean of MEGVII AI Governance Research Institute)
“At Megvii, our mission has always been to Power Humanity with AI. We actively explore ways to drive the sustainable development of the artificial intelligence industry and effectively promote the implementation of AI governance across sectors and businesses. The AI4SDGs Research Program is a prime platform to facilitate in-depth discussions and collaborations among key global AI industry players, academic institutions, and research communities. This program also complements what we are trying to achieve with the Megvii AI Governance Research Institute. Through the Megvii AI Governance Research Institute, we strive to facilitate collaboration and research on various industry issues and to solve real-life problems people might encounter. We fully support the AI4SDGs Research Program and firmly believe that building sustainable artificial intelligence is the shared vision of all countries across the globe, and the role artificial intelligence can play in building a better tomorrow.”
Guobin Wu (Director of Science and Technology Ecology and Development, Didi)
“Promoting the intelligence centred on the sustainable development of human beings’ is a precise formulation in the Development Planning for a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence of China. Didi attaches great importance to the utilization of artificial intelligence technology to promote the achievement of global sustainable development goals and has been committed to vigorously cooperate with relevant partners to support the innovation of intelligent transportation and automatic driving with artificial intelligence technology and help solve the transportation and environment protection challenges in sustainable development. Didi is willing to work with the global AI industries, universities and research communities to seek practical and effective solutions and concrete actions to promote the sustainable development of global society, economy and environment by using advanced artificial intelligence technology.”
Jingyan Fan (Senior Vice President, YITU; Vice President of Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance)
“YITU's vision of participating in the AI4SDGs Research Program is to enable all human beings to use AI fairly, safely and conveniently. YITU is devoted to promoting the advantages of AI advancement to the world, empowering various industries through AI to benefit mankind. YITU is willing to work with colleagues in the industry to develop sustainable artificial intelligence and promote peace and justice through artificial intelligence.”
Shi Zhang (Partner, CEO, YIDUCLOUD)
“Medical research is an essential method to advance the development of medicine. With the assistance of artificial intelligence, medical research can be carried out with higher quality and efficiency. It is a great honour for YIDUCLOUD to participate in the ‘AI4SDGs Research Program’. YIDUCLOUD hopes to give full play to its advantages in artificial intelligence technology, to support more and more valuable medical clinical research, and to continue participating in the ‘AI4SDGs Research Program’, and to fully promote the development of the research program. YIDUCLOUD takes ‘Nature and Kindness’ as its gene, and expects to improve the relationship between human beings and diseases with AI, and further promote the development and industrial progress of medical industry together with industrial forces, to benefit more people.”

The Launch of Projects for the 2020 AI4SDGs Research Program

Name of the Project

Correlation with Sustainable Development

Outcome

Funding

Sustainable Urban and Community Development and Governance Driven by Artificial Intelligence

11.Sustainable Cities and Communities
9.Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Research Report

200,000 RMB

The Legal System Construction and Problems of Autonomous Driving

11.Sustainable Cities and Communities

3.Good Health and Well-being

Research Report

200,000 RMB

Human Computer Intelligent Dialogue Model and System for Adolescent Mental Health

3.Good Health and Well-being
4.Quality Education

Open- Source System

500,000 RMB

Clinical Assistant Decision Support for Rare Diseases in Children

3.Good Health and Well-being

Research Report

200,000 RMB

Privacy Secure Intelligent Monitoring System for the Elderly

3.Good Health and Well-being
11.Sustainable Cities and Communities

Open- Source System

500,000 RMB

Cross-Cultural Interaction Knowledge Engine

11.Sustainable Cities and Communities

4.Quality Education

Research Report

200,000 RMB

Labor Digital Transformation and Future Employment: Challenges and Countermeasures

4.Quality Education
8.Decent Work and Economic Growth
11.Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research Report

200,000 RMB


The relevant requirements for the project applications of AI4SDGs Research Program are as follows:

1. Download the application forms.

2. We accept project applications from all countries. The project applicant can be the scientific research teams from research institutions, or AI related enterprises. It can be applied by multiple organizations or by one.

3. The funding for research report projects is 200,000 RMB for each project, and that for systems research projects is 500,000 RMB for each project.

4. The project undertaking teams need to submit the quarterly progress report at the end of each quarter and hold an online progress seminar once a quarter in the project implementation cycle.

5. The output of the project research results and research reports will be published through the AI4SDGs Think Tank platform (http://www.ai-for-sdgs.academy/ ). The final program and system of open-source system projects need to be fully open to the public. In the AI4SDGs Think Tank platform and open source platforms such as Github, the open-source platform description document should be written according to the project requirements.

6. The project implementation period is from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.

7. Deadline for project application: September 15, 2020.

8. Please fill in the project application forms and send the electronic version and scanned copy to research-program@ai-for-sdgs.academy.