A worldwide project for accurate flood forecasting. A technology enabling the hearing-impaired to conduct phone conversations. Studies on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance disease diagnosis.

These are just a few of the projects initiated by Google Israel intended to make the world a better place using AI. Now, those projects have a formal home: the “AI for Social Good” program established by Google and Tel Aviv University.

The new three-year program, housed at the TAU Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, launched in February under the direction of Prof. Meir Feder of TAU’s Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering.

Ten winners (out of 27 who responded to a joint call for proposals) address disciplines including zoology, electrical engineering, economics, statistics, communication disorders, biblical studies, earth sciences, computer science, sociology, and anthropology.

“We believe that AI researchers can benefit significantly from collaborations with researchers in the social sciences and humanities, just as the latter benefit from new developments in AI,” says TAU president Prof. Ariel Porat.

Prof. Yossi Matias, managing director of the Google Center in Israel, notes that AI technologies have already improved our lives dramatically.

“There are some deep and fascinating research questions associated with AI in many different disciplines, creating substantial opportunities for collaboration,” he says. “Good things happen when different ideas and different approaches come together. We are delighted for this opportunity to harness the power of AI for social good and for science.”

Feder emphasized that “the AI revolution is expected to impact every aspect of our lives, from drug development and data-based personalized medicine, to defense systems, financial systems, scientific discoveries, robotics, autonomous systems, and social issues.”

Google will also provide every TAU student with a basic AI education, Feder adds. The university has some 30,000 students including 2,100 international students from more than 100 countries.