Microsoft selects AI start-ups to accelerate progress on environmental sustainability

Ten companies focused on reducing carbon emissions and waste, preserving water and protecting ecosystems have been selected to take part in Microsoft’s AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator programme. The programme, launched in collaboration with the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, will support the cohort through a four-month programme to advance their environmental solution using AI. The 10 companies will develop their technological capabilities and commercial strategy, build the relationships they need to scale their solution and, crucially, learn how to measure the impact it will have for environmental progress.…

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UNESCO launches the Cookie Factory, to raise awareness of the potential risks and ethical challenges of AI

AI permeates our daily life, from recommendation algorithms to medical care and education. It has the potential to be highly beneficial and help us solve some of the most pressing issues of the century. But it also carries serious risks and could compromise our human rights. For example, the mediation of online information by algorithms and AI challenges many of the founding principles of democracy such as freedom of expression, and can cause disinformation. This can lead to the emergence of stereotypical biases, such as an online search for “great…

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New toolkit launched to help organisations using AI to process personal data understand the associated risks and ways of complying with data protection law

Alister Pearson, the ICO’s Senior Policy Officer – Technology has put out a blog on their website which introduces a new beta version of their AI and Data Protection Risk Toolkit. He explains how it can assure organisations that use AI to process personal data that they are processing it in line with the law and how organisations can help the ICO shape a final version. “Understanding how to assess compliance with data protection principles can be challenging in the context of AI. From the exacerbated, and sometimes novel, security…

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Drone technology and AI used in UK-first to tackle litter in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be the focus of a ground-breaking pilot scheme this summer which will see drone-based technology used to tackle the issue of litter. BCP Council is partnering with the environmental charity Hubbub and McDonald’s to trial a unique approach which will see intelligence gathered from drone data to inform the future placement of bins, street cleansing schedules and behaviour change campaigns to encourage visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly.  The initiative will deploy new drone-based technology to help tackle the scourge of litter in what will…

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UNESCO convenes a global dialogue to break through bias in AI on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day (8 March), UNESCO and the World Economic Forum joined forces to host an online panel on gender equality and women’s leadership in Artificial Intelligence. This timely round-table brought together a range of leading female voices in tech from around the world to confront the deep-rooted gender imbalances skewing the development of artificial intelligence. More than 60,000 viewers participated in the digital event. The event was moderated by Natashya Gutierrez, Editor-in-Chief of VICE Asia. “How do we stop bias? By making sure that women are not only…

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