Microsoft has partnered with numerous non-profit organizations, UN agencies, governments and civil society groups to apply AI in ways that foster inclusive growth and sustainability. Some of their notable collaborations include:
Partnership with UNHCR and World Bank to help refugees track and verify their skills and qualifications. They are building AI tools to digitize paper-based records and automatically extract key information that can help refugees validate their educational and work history to access jobs and services in resettlement countries.
Collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to use AI and satellite imagery analysis to map forest cover changes, monitor endangered species habitats and prevent wildlife trafficking. Microsoft provides Azure AI tools and computing resources to WWF who use it to track illegal mining, logging and land conversion activities in sensitive ecosystems across South America, Africa and Asia in near real-time.
Partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) to set up AI forums for humanitarian agencies and develop AI solutions to aid food security efforts. Some projects include using computer vision on drones and satellites to map crop health and identify at-risk villages, and using language models to help aid workers better communicate with communities.
Working with UNICEF to test AI models that can analyze social media and online text to provide early signs of disease outbreaks, food crises or violence against children in fragile states. This near real-time population-level monitoring aims to speed up emergency response.
Partnering with Brazilian government and non-profits to apply AI to regenerative forestry and agroforestry projects in the Amazon. They are developing digital tools for indigenous communities and small farmers to sustainably manage forests and crop lands, support surveillance against illegal activities, and help market forest-grown foods and medicines.
Collaboration with World Economic Forum, UNDP and other partners on AI for Agriculture initiative to help smallholder farmers in developing nations. This includes building low-cost, localized AI/Internet of Things systems for precision farming, predictive maintenance of equipment, post-harvest losses reduction and supply chain optimization.
Initiative with UN ESCAP, governments and tech industry to set up AI hubs in Asia to support SDGs. They equip these hubs with AI tools, training programs, mentorships and industry partnerships so developing nations can build AI capacity suited for problems like healthcare access, education quality, clean energy and disaster monitoring.
Partnership with Puerto Rico government and aid groups to deploy AI after 2017 hurricanes. This included using computer vision on aerial photos for damage assessment and infrastructure mapping, setting up AI chatbots to answer resident queries, and analyzing mobile network data to aid relief operations and long-term recovery planning.
Working with government health ministries to tackle diseases like TB, cancer and malaria through AI. Projects range from developing AI tools to automate medical imaging diagnosis, leveraging health records for outbreak prediction, digital adherence monitoring of patients to optimize treatments. Concurrent steps ensure responsible data handling and community acceptance.
Empowering indigenous communities through AI for Social Good program. Projects include collaborating with Native American tribes on computer vision solutions for environmental monitoring of sacred ancestral lands and natural resources management, developing culturally-appropriate translation and linguistic analysis tools for endangered languages, and AI-aided ancestry research programs for youth.
Joined AI for Climate initiative launched by WeAreAda and partners to accelerate AI solutions that support climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Supported projects address issues like optimizing public transit systems to reduce emissions, improving disaster response through satellite imagery analysis, and making infrastructure like power grids more resilient to climate threats through predictive maintenance.
Through these multi-stakeholder partnerships, Microsoft is working to ensure AI technologies benefit humanity by addressing issues faced by vulnerable communities and supporting environmental sustainability goals. While applications are still emerging, this type of responsible innovation holds promise to strengthen systems and help societies adapt to challenges in a globally connected world.