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HelpMum Selected for Google AI for Social Good Program’s 2021/2022 Cohort

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Dr Adereni Abiodun, HelpMum CEO

HelpMum has been selected for the Google AI for Social Good program 2021/2022 cohort. HelpMum is a social enterprise birthed with the mission to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.

HelpMum will collaborate with Vanderbilt University Research Scientist, Ayan Mukhopadhyay, to develop a new solution for better forecasting the need for essential resources such as vaccines and care utilizing a data-driven approach and AI.

Google AI for Social Good, in collaboration with Google.org and Google’s University Relations initiative, “helps to connect academics and nonprofits to develop AI techniques that improve people lives – especially in underserved communities that haven’t yet benefited from the advances in AI.”

According to the official statement:

During the application process, Googlers arranged workshops involving more than 150 teams to discuss potential projects. Following the workshop meetings, project teams made up of NGOs and academics submitted proposals which Google experts reviewed.

The result is a promising range of projects spanning seventeen countries across Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa — including India, Uganda, Nigeria, Japan and Australia— focused on agriculture, conservation and public health.

Google will provide the awardees and the projects with funding, technical contribution and access to computational resources.

Agriculture

This includes research to help farmer collectives with market intelligence and use data to improve crop and irrigation planning for smallholder farmers:

Awardees from Africa include;

  • Incentive Engineering and Truthful Mechanisms for Grassland Quality and Local Market Price Estimation in Africa w/Long Tran-Thanh (University of Warwick) and AfriScout (Kenya).
  • Adoption of smartphone agro-applications for field-based disease diagnosis and real-time feedback for smallholder farmers w/ Godliver Owomugisha (Busitema University) and Papoli Community Development Foundation (Uganda).
  • Towards Achieving Better Market Access for Smallholder Farmers w/Daphney-Stavroula Zois (University at Albany, SUNY) and AGRI-WEB (Ghana).

Conservation

Google is supporting researches under conservation to help understand animal population changes, such as the effect of poaching on elephants, and gorillas. Other projects will help reduce conservation conflict and poaching, including the human-elephant conflict in Kenya.

Awardees from Africa include;

  • AI for Animal Census w/Trevor Darrell (UC Berkeley) and Wildlife Conservation Society (Nigeria).
  • Applying AI to Data Challenges in Wildlife Conservation w/Nataliya Tkachenko (University of Oxford) and Panthera (Nepal, India, Malaysia, Senegal).
  • Human-in-the-loop Chimpanzee Identification w/Gianluca Demartini (University of Queensland) and Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea).
  • Human-in-the-Loop Labelling System for Elephant Identification and Tracking w/Ashwin Srinivasan (BITS Pilani, Goa Campus) and Mara Elephant Project (Kenya).
  • Using Machine Learning to Predict Deforestation w/Andrew Katumba and Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende (Makerere University) and Moja Global (Uganda).

Public Health

Google is backing projects that enable targeted public health interventions and help community health workers to forecast health risks in countries such as Kenya, India and Uganda. Also supporting research to better forecast the need for critical resources like vaccines and care, including in Nigeria.

Awardees from Africa include;

  • Augmenting Community Health Workers Efficacy using AI w/Himabindu Lakkaraju (Harvard University) and Living Goods (Kenya, Uganda).
  • Data-driven Vaccine Demand Forecasting and Health Interventions in Nigeria w/Ayan Mukhopadhyay (Vanderbilt University) HelpMum (Nigeria).
  • Incentive Design for Better Health Coverage w/ Arunesh Sinha (Singapore Management University) and D-tree (Zanzibar).
  • Leave No One Behind: Spatial AI-Enabled Settlement Mapping to Enhance WASH Access for Vulnerable Populations w/ Yiqun Xie (University of Maryland, College Park) and Aquaya Institute (Kenya).
  • Predicting early exit from the m2m health program w/ Toby Walsh, Yang Song (UNSW Sydney) and Mothers2Mothers (South Africa).
  • Using AI to Prevent the Risk of Maternal and Neonatal Deaths in Kenya w/Amulya Yadav (Penn State University) and Jacaranda Health (Kenya).

See the full list here.

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