Huge information and AI give firms unimaginable energy to develop their companies and enhance earnings, however the identical strategies may also be used to advertise social good. One of many individuals who’s doing greater than most to advertise the expertise for society is Lauren Woodman, the CEO of Datakind and a Datanami Individual to Look ahead to 2022.
DataKind was based greater than a decade in the past to assist non-profit organizations and social change teams take advantage of out of their information. Woodman joind the New York Metropolis group final yr, and was type sufficient to spend time with Datanami to debate the group’s work, the state of huge information for good packages, and her function in it.
Datanami: We now have extra information than ever earlier than, however a lot of it’s being exploited by for-profit corporations. What duties does a society bear to make sure the fruits of technological progress accrue equally?
Woodman: We’ve seen the ability of information science and AI radically rework corporations and industries. Too many mission-driven organizations nonetheless can’t get entry to the funding, expertise, abilities, or coaching to make the most of information science and AI to learn the vital work they do. In 2022, I’m wanting ahead to partnering with extra corporations, foundations, and people to construct a world the place all those that battle on the frontlines of social change can use information science and AI to speed up the tempo of their affect.
Do you suppose our authorities establishments are making the required investments to have the ability to use huge information tech for the higher public good? Or maybe these investments must be made by third-party organizations, equivalent to nonprofits and NGOs?
What single group has the technological capability to construct revolutionary options, that may prioritize options which are efficient over worthwhile, that may make clear, do-no-harm options, and that communities have oversight over? It’s essential that multistakeholder partnerships come collectively to supply these mandatory elements of tech expertise, downside experience, native involvement, and funding that aren’t in any other case working in live performance. At DataKind, we imagine in placing information science and AI within the fingers of NGOs and human-rights-friendly governments as a result of they’re probably the most values-aligned establishments we all know of. Sure multistakeholder partnerships might meet this standards of moral, values-aligned work.
What do you hope to see from the large information neighborhood within the coming yr?
Equally to the above, thoughtfully constructed partnerships, the place every member brings its sources and abilities to bear on a typical endeavor, are typically probably the most profitable. And simply as each challenge is exclusive, so too is each collaboration. Within the coming yr, I’m wanting ahead to connecting with earlier and new companions to debate the simplest technique to direct inexpensive technical capability into the social sector. Whether or not it’s a basis eager to discover a new technique to deal with a cussed downside or an organization creating their very own Information Science and AI for Good technique, DataKind’s decade of doing this work (we rejoice our 10 yr anniversary this yr!) signifies that we convey an unequalled depth of expertise to any partnership.
Exterior of the skilled sphere, what are you able to share about your self that your colleagues could be shocked to be taught – any distinctive hobbies or tales?
Oh, I want I used to be extra fascinating, however principally I like attempting one thing new. Through the years, that’s been every little thing from triathlons to bread baking to taking part in drums. I find yourself being fairly mediocre at most of them, however I really like the problem of one thing new. This yr, I’m dedicated to bettering my golf recreation, a passion I picked up through the pandemic, and I’m decidedly very dangerous at.
You possibly can learn the remainder of the interviews with the 2022 Folks to Watch right here.