Machine Learning for Social Good

December 18, 2019 12:00 AM
  • Machine Learning for Social Good

Technology is steadily changing life as we know it. One field that is rapidly gaining momentum over the last few years is AI and machine learning. Not only is it helping in building new applications, it is also solving age-old problems that were nearly unsolvable.

AI and machine learning helps reduce manual errors and increase automation.  AI is changing lives through its application in fields like healthcare, agriculture, education, governance, disability etc.

Machine learning essentially uses statistical data to uncover different patterns and correlations to find feasible and optimized solutions. Its use can be game-changing in any field that allows for data collection. This is one major reason why NPOs would greatly benefit from thinking ahead and planning for the inculcation of such technologies into its operations.
 

Impact of Machine learning in various sectors -
 

Education -
 

With smart learning, e-learning and other digital initiatives gaining ground, machine learning could be an absolute asset. It can personalize a learning experience for students, help NGOs to create an efficient and unconventional curriculum to help teachers in understanding and administering knowledge in their subjects, help in assessing tests, academic development, etc.. STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Management) is developing new models with the support of the government and Ed-Tech startups to help NPOs that are operating in this space.  

 

Helping Disabled - 
 

One of the greatest applications of machine learning in modern times, is Speech Recognition.  It helps users to translate their spoken words into a text format. It is one of the most widely used applications for people who are facing speech-based disabilities. Also, NGOs are now shifting to electronic braille to help the blind read and write text. Many other AI-enabled prosthetics are helping people around the world to lead a better quality of life.

 

Medical Diagnosis -
 

An abundance of apps are being created to help people in gaining medical knowledge and offering support. With the help of technology, cancer and heart-related diagnosis have become more accurate, insightful and easily identifiable in initial stages. Even the medical drug-research industry is benefitting from the analysis of smart records and data to create new possibilities in developing cheaper and effective medicines for the people. 

E-records and virtual consultants are enabling doctors and surgeons to use extensive medical records and provide meaningful insights. 
 

Data Analysis -
 

Many NPOs are using new techniques to analyze their records for data redundancy and management. NPOs are working with machine learning to validate data that could help them in solving problems and meeting needs based on the analysis. Eg: Educate Girls is making use of data analysis and machine learning to solve their challenges in educating girls in rural areas. They aim to reduce the number of girls dropping out of schools, colleges, etc. and to empower and uplift them in all walks of life.    

 

Hackathons -
 

To improve the scale of functioning, many hackathons by various multi-national companies are being set up - aimed at social good. Various machine learning ideas and hackathons are now conducted and collaborated on to help NPOs world-over. These hackathons often have a  dual purpose -

 

Conclusion -
 

Machine Learning is an evolving technology field that is gaining more recognition every day. One can only wait to see the results on how these technologies work together collectively to improves lives and help social organizations create impact.

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