Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and data.org launch Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Inclusion challenge

Global call issued for innovative AI solutions at inaugural accelerate conference

Today, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and data.org launched the Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Inclusion Challenge (AI2AI Challenge), a global call for AI solutions to accelerate inclusion and economic empowerment.

The AI2AI Challenge will focus on inclusive growth, ensuring that the benefits of this rapidly advancing data technology extend to all segments of society. Organizations will be considered for their innovative AI solutions that have demonstrated success and are ready to scale with additional funding and technical assistance.

“Five years ago, we made an early bet on the power of data to advance social impact,” said Shamina Singh, founder and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “Those early investments laid a foundation for the growing field of impact data science and have contributed to the demand for similar interventions for AI. Today, we are proud to be working with data.org to incentivize safe and trustworthy AI applications that empower communities and people. This challenge will shine a light on scalable solutions that help realize the promise and potential for AI to benefit society.”

“In the age of AI, working collaboratively across disciplines to tackle challenges like inclusive growth and climate has never been more urgent,” said Danil Mikhailov, executive director of data.org. “This is data.org’s fourth global challenge — and second with Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth — to source, support and scale breakthrough solutions, with more than 2,000 applications worldwide submitted to date. With each challenge, we not only grow our network of peers and partners, but we also learn more about how to most effectively build capacity, empower local communities and ultimately build the field of data and AI for social impact.”

Challenge applicants can learn more and apply on the data.org website. The deadline for submissions is July 18, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. ET, after which a panel of distinguished expert judges bringing experience in AI at the frontier of social impact and industry will review submissions, with winners announced by early 2025. Confirmed judges include:

  • Vilas Dhar, president, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
  • Raghu Dharmaraju, CEO, ARTPARK
  • Ivana Feldfeber, co-founder and executive director, DataGenéro
  • Angela Oduor Lungati, executive director, Ushahidi
  • Anna Makanju, vice president of Global Affairs, OpenAI
  • Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Neera Nundy, co-founder and managing partner, Dasra
  • Navrina Singh, founder and CEO, Credo AI
  • Uyi Stewart, chief data and technology officer, data.org
  • Greg Ulrich, chief AI and data officer, Mastercard

Challenge awardees will receive grant funding to develop and scale their solutions, access to technical expertise and mentorship from Mastercard and data.org teams, and opportunities with select Mastercard’s resources and programs, such as Start Path, to further support their approaches. Additional support for the challenge will come from Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation based in India.

The challenge was first announced by Singh at the Global Inclusive Growth Summit on April 18, 2024. Today, the Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate Inclusion Challenge launches during the Accelerate: Data for Social Impact Conference, hosted by data.org in partnership with the Harvard Data Science Initiative.

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