Social media giant Facebook hosted the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India summit in Bengaluru and announced several initiatives including to offer training the children and women to develop skills new-age technology to make them future ready.

The Facebook AI summit was attended by several NGOs, start-ups, developer community and other dignitaries. In the event, the company announced to set up accelerator for budding developers to hone their skills in AI. Even Apple and Google have similar accelerator programs but are focused on app developments for respective iOS and Android ecosystem.

Facebook, AI for India, Summit
Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India with conversation with Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.Facebook Press Kit

Facebook cited its Blood Donation tool, which helps connect blood banks and hospitals to blood donors who have registered themselves on the platform.

As per Facebook, more than 35 million people have signed up to be donors globally. In order to understand its impact, Facebook partnered with blood banks in India and Brazil to conduct in-person surveys and found that one in five people said that Facebook influenced their decision to donate blood.

Facebook also spoke about how AI can play a crucial role in times of crisis and cited its efforts during the 2018 Kerala floods when in partnership with SEEDS India, an NGO, it quickly prepared disaster maps for the state. The maps use aggregated and de-identified Facebook data to track people's movement and were able to demarcate between the flood-hit and safe zones. This information helped SEEDS and other humanitarian organizations appropriately time their early recovery and relief operations.

Facebook, Safety Check, Kerala Floods
Users can activate safety check on Facebook to let their loved one know they are safe.Facebook/screen-shot

"At Facebook, we are developing and leveraging cutting-edge technologies for products we develop around the world. From developing a tool to swiftly connect blood banks and hospitals with blood donors to utilizing Disaster Maps to aid the relief work during the 2018 Kerala Floods, we have always sought opportunities to deploy the best of our expertise in the service of India. We are an ally for India's economic growth and social development and this summit is our effort to understand how we can contribute to the development of deep tech in India, as well as corral resources to use these technologies to develop impactful solutions for tough and persistent problems," Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.

Highlights of Facebook AI for Social Good Summit:

  • India Innovation Accelerator: Facebook announced the India Innovation Accelerator program with a focus on AI for Social Good. Under this program, the social media company will extend mentorship and support to promising startups that are leveraging AI to address gaps within the high social impact areas of women safety, agriculture, education, healthcare, climate change, and resilient cities, among many others.
  • Scholarships for students and developers: Facebook also announced 100 scholarships for students and developers focused on nurturing their ideas for utilizing AI for social good. The scholarships will enable the students to gain access to advanced courses on Deep Learning.
  • 'Women in AI' Hackathons:  Facebook, in a bid to encourage diversity within the ecosystem, it announced dedicated AI Hackathons for women developers and women-led start-ups focused on AI. The winners will be provided courses on AI and ML (Machine Learning) by professors of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras.
  • AI Trainings: Under the aegis of Facebook Hubs program, the company will conduct extensive, application-based training with a host of startups across 20 locations in India. Aimed at helping startups and entrepreneurs scale their businesses, Facebook Hubs will extend support for the community by hosting mentor hours and conducting training and workshops.