Doing Good with Artificial Intelligence – Monash Prato Dialogue

Event date:  18 November 2021

Can Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science help prevent children from getting lead poisoning? Can they help reduce police violence and misconduct? Increase vaccination rates?

In this lecture, Professor Rayid Ghani highlighted opportunities as well as challenges that need to be tackled in order to have social and policy impact in a fair and equitable manner.

Watch the lecture recording below.


During the lecture, Professor Ghani referenced the following resources:


Professor Rayid Ghani is a Distinguished Career Professor in Machine Learning and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Rayid is a reformed computer scientist and aspiring social scientist, but mostly just focused on increasing the use of large-scale AI/Machine Learning/Data Science in solving large public policy and social challenges in a fair and equitable manner.

Among other areas, Rayid works with governments and non-profits in policy areas such as health, criminal justice, education, public safety, economic development, and urban infrastructure. Rayid is also passionate about teaching practical data science and started the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship that trains computer scientists, statisticians, and social scientists from around the world to work on data science problems with social impact.

Before joining Carnegie Mellon University, Rayid was the Founding Director of the Center for Data Science & Public Policy, Research Associate Professor in Computer Science, and a Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Previously, Rayid was the Chief Scientist of the Obama 2012 Election Campaign where he focused on data, analytics, and technology to target and influence voters, donors, and volunteers. In his ample free time, Rayid obsesses over everything related to coffee and works with non-profits to help them with their data, analytics and digital efforts and strategy.


Can AI, ML and Data Science help prevent children from getting lead poisoning? Can they help reduce police violence and misconduct? Increase vaccination rates? Help cities better prioritize limited resources to improve lives of citizens and achieve equity? We’re all aware of the potential of ML and AI but turning this potential into tangible social impact, and more importantly equitable social impact, requires deliberately designing these systems for equitable impact.

Prof Ghani discussed lessons learned from working on 50+ projects over the past few years with government and nonprofit organisations on high-impact public policy and social challenges in criminal justice, public health, education, economic development, public safety, workforce training, and urban infrastructure.

Monash Prato Dialogue - Fostering Global Dialogue & Discovery in AI and Data Science

The Monash Data Futures Institute Prato Dialogue Distinguished Lecture Series aims to explore the evolving impact of data science and AI in society by fostering a global dialogue.

The lecture series takes its name from Monash University's Centre in Prato, Italy. Located in the heart of Tuscany, our Prato Centre represents a European base for international research and education, intellectual and cultural exchanges and brings people together to meet, learn and collaborate with peers and colleagues from around the world.

Schedule of lectures and links to video recordings: