Sibos 2019: IBM’s initiative for social good
Aleksandra Mojsilovic from IBM Research discusses why using AI and machine learning to tackle societal challenges should be on every business’ mind, writes Alara Basul.
Data and artificial intelligence (AI) are a critical part of our everyday lives. It has transformed how we shop, interact with friends, make decisions and even navigate the world around us. It has enabled businesses to be agile and disruptive.
Aleksandra Mojsilovic, head of trusted AI foundations at IBM Research believes that the AI systems which businesses have in place are already primed to solve issues greater than technology. “There are so many new initiatives for AI and data, but there’s still a set of challenges that we don’t think of. Tackling social good is one of them.”
The Science for Social Good by IBM was launched in 2016 and brings together experts from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and public sector agencies to tackle emerging societal challenges using science and technology. “We work together with NGOs to figure out how technology can help tackle their issues in a complex environment,” says Mojsilovic.
“We scope the projects and then invite our scientists to apply artificial intelligence to really scale the social impact.”
Neighbourhood Trust Financial Partners is an NGO formed of expert financial advisors that provide advice and empowerment programs to low wage individuals. IBM Research’s scientists used AI and machine learning to learn from client data and develop predictive models and personalised advice to help clients change their financial future.
Mojsilovic states that implementing AI to combat social issues is “not philanthropy”, but rather an initiative that “many businesses should be addressing”. She adds: “we should all be thinking about this kind of work. It should be at the very core of how we do business in this industry.
“Social problems are complex,” she adds. “These issues are multifaceted and difficult to solve. But once we start thinking about them and coming up with solutions, we ultimately become better researchers and developers.”