Last week at the ODSC West conference, I was thrilled with the interest in my Using AI for Good workshop: it was wonderful to find a room full of data scientists eager to learn how data science and artificial intelligence can be used to help people and the planet. The workshop was focused around projects from the Microsoft AI for Good program. I've included some details about the projects below, and you can also check out the workshop slides and the accompanying Jupyter Notebooks that demonstrate the underlying AI methods used in the projects.
The projects were drawn from the AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility and AI for Humanitarian Action programs, respectively:
The iNaturalist app, which uses image recognition and species distribution models to help citizen scientists identify animal and plant species from photos, and submit their observations to the scientific community. The app is available for iOS and Android smartphones, and you can also try this web-based demo with a picture of an animal or plant.
The Seeing AI app (available for iOS), which helps blind and vision-impaired people navigate the world around them. (This video, featuring creator Saqib Shaikh, demonstrates how the app works.) The app detects and describes people and transcribes signs and documents, and you can try out the underlying vision APIs using just a web browser. You can also use R to drive the vision APIs, as shown in this notebook demonstrating the “Describe Scene” feature in Seeing AI.
The AirSim Project, which is used to simulate image data for vision system training using the 3-D Unreal Engine. One application is to train a drone to automatically perform search and rescue operation after a disaster, as described in this video. There, 3-D simulations were provided training data for the Custom Vision service, which you can try out yourself with R and this Jupyter Notebook.
You can try out all of the aforementioned notebooks by cloning this Azure Notebooks library, or download them at the Github repository below and run them in your own Jupyter Notebooks instance.
Github (revodavid): AI for Good Workshop