Mila > News > 2020 TechAide AI4GOOD Conference and Hackathon: AI community raises over $100,000 for Centraide

17 Nov 2020

2020 TechAide AI4GOOD Conference and Hackathon: AI community raises over $100,000 for Centraide

The first edition of the merged TechAide conference and AI4GOOD hackathon wrapped up over the weekend, gathering nearly 400 conference attendees and 135 hackathon participants. The event raised a total of $116,000 to support Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Initiated by OSMO in 2016, TechAide is now driven by a group of passionate volunteers, including Hugo Larochelle of Mila and Google, who have been working tirelessly to help Centraide break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion in Greater Montreal. AI4GOOD by TechAide aims to bolster the development of AI projects that align with human values and public good. On Thursday, November 12, 2020, the event kicked off with inspiring presentations from leading experts who shared how their innovative AI approaches can benefit society at large.

The challenges we are experiencing across the world today during the COVID-19 pandemic has led us all to ask many questions of ourselves and our work. With these challenges has come a renewed sense of the importance of connections, of community and of our collective prosperity. This year’s TechAide conference speaks to that important need […] We can together use AI to make our contributions to the vision of a world without neglect, and filled with prosperity.

– Shakir Mohamed, TechAide Keynote Speaker and Senior Staff Scientist at DeepMind

AI for Good

During the conference, Mila member and McGill University Professor Reihaneh Rabbany provided examples of her ongoing projects, one of which aims to detect organized human trafficking in online escort markets. 

Google Research scientist Dimitri Kanevsky introduced Parrotron, an ongoing research project designed to help those with speech impairments caused by neurological conditions communicate and be understood, by both people and devices.

Screenshot taken during the afternoon Q&A session with Dimitri Kanevsky and John Platt of Google, as well as Yoshua Bengio, Sasha Luccioni et Joëlle Pineau of Mila.

Other presentations covered a wide range of topics, from proposed government incentive systems and healthcare, to flood prediction and damage assessment for crisis response. AI is a powerful and rapidly evolving technology, requiring open discussions and increasing collaboration to ensure that its deployment serves for the benefit of all. TechAide enables these efforts, and reflects the willingness of the AI community to work together to face ongoing societal challenges.

For more information

Recorded presentations:

Missed the event? Head over to the TechAide AI4Good 2020 YouTube channel to listen to the talks given by Yoshua Bengio, Joelle Pineau, and leading experts from Google, the Vector Institute, the United Nations, and more.

Learn more about TechAide:

TechAide Website

Donate to Centraide:

If you wish to offer your support to Centraide of Greater Montreal, consider donating here.