Published on March 28, 2024, 10:35 am

Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, has announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at supporting nonprofits that are developing technology utilizing generative AI. The program, known as Google.org Accelerator: Generative AI, is backed by $20 million in grants and will initially involve 21 nonprofits. Among the organizations partnering with this initiative are Quill.org, which focuses on providing AI-powered tools for student writing feedback, and the World Bank, which is working on a generative AI application to enhance the accessibility of development research material.

In addition to financial support, participants in the six-week accelerator program will benefit from technical training, workshops, mentorship opportunities, and guidance from an assigned “AI coach”. Furthermore, through Google.org’s fellowship scheme, teams of Google employees will collaborate full-time with three selected nonprofits – Tarjimly, Benefits Data Trust, and mRelief – for up to six months to assist in launching their generative AI projects.

Tarjimly aims to utilize AI for language translation assistance to refugees. Benefits Data Trust is leveraging AI technology to create tools that aid caseworkers in aiding low-income individuals apply for public benefits. Meanwhile, mRelief is developing a tool intended to simplify the process of applying for U.S. SNAP benefits.

Annie Lewin, the director of global advocacy at Google.org mentioned in a blog post that “Generative AI can help social impact teams be more productive, creative and effective in serving their communities.” According to reports from PwrdBy survey findings; 73% of nonprofits believe that AI innovation aligns with their missions while 75% feel that AI contributes to easing their operations especially in areas such as donor categorization and routine back-office tasks.

Despite these positive attitudes towards incorporating AI into their work processes noted by nonprofit organizations surveyed by Google.org; cost implications remain a significant hurdle along with resource limitations and time constraints hindering the adoption rates of AI technologies within this sector according to Annie Lewin’s blog post insights derived from the survey results.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a growing interest among nonprofit entities towards integrating AI solutions into their operations. Nonprofit accelerator Fast Forward reported an increasing number of applications from AI-focused companies within its latest cohort selection process. Additionally, various nonprofit organizations globally are actively engaging in initiatives focusing on ethical implementations of AI including AlgorithmWatch focusing on artificial intelligence ethics lab work; JoyEducation’s virtual reading clinic services; and Earth05’s conservation advocacy efforts.

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