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2022 Hopes + Predictions for Data Science + AI for Good
December 27, 2021

As we look ahead to the new year, we see huge opportunities to create more partnerships, more research, and more solutions to help bridge the gaps between those who have data science and AI resources and those who desperately need them. 

And as we embark on year 10 at DataKind, we called on our global community to share their insights. What are their hopes for DataKind in 2022 and beyond? What trends in Data Science and AI for Good are they seeing that they think will increase in 2022? What predictions do they have? Check out just some of their voices below (in no particular order)!

From our extraordinary Chapter Leaders scaling our impact worldwide to completing over 350 DataKind projects to delivering more than $35 million in pro bono data science services to mission-driven organizations to the over 20,000 technologists that continue to drive the movement forward, we’re looking forward to turning some of these hopes into reality with all of you.

Thanks for your endless support and unwavering dedication to harnessing the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity!

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We're now ten years into the AI for Good movement, and those first ten years have been about bringing the tools of data to serve and inform diverse causes and accelerate impact. My hope for the next ten years is that we discover ways that people and AI systems, together, can co-create entirely new approaches to empowering people. Hilary Mason, DataKind Friend

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Transparency. How can we use our data to show what we are doing, what the impacts of our work are, what the unintended consequences are, and how we have addressed biases in our data.Tom Thorley, DataKind Volunteer

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At least in conversations, I am starting to see more data science for good actors asking if they are actually doing good. Whether that means evaluating the ethics of their solutions or planning for longer term evaluations, I think the sector is starting to understand that if we really want to do good, we need to plan, measure, and audit the mechanisms we believe will do good. If I had to say which sectors may see the biggest boom in 2022, I'd have to say trafficking and emergency relief seem to be the two big ones.Daniel Nissani, DataKind Volunteer

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A hope for 2022 is to see increased investment in the bridging of the gender data gap. With more quality gender data to inform decisions and policies that address gendered socioeconomic and health impacts—particularly in a time of pandemic, a fuller data picture emerges to track and advance progress toward gender equality.Raina Han, DataKind Staff

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In 2022, machine learning will become increasingly data-centric. Instead of new algorithms, we’ll be talking about new datasets, data pipelines, standards, and tools for improving data quality. I’m thankful that DataKind is working with organizations on the frontlines of public health to make life easier for caregivers by improving data integrity through new tools for automated data quality assessment.Evan Tachovsky, The Rockefeller Foundation, DataKind Partner

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DataKind will expand our impact in Frontline Health Systems and Economic Resilience by replicating projects with existing partners and launching exciting projects with new partners. DataKind's global community can look forward to more opportunities to use their data science and AI skills for good, connect to other DataKinders, and work on challenging projects around the world.Afua Bruce, DataKind Staff

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This year we saw the launch of ACM EAAMO, a conference dedicated to using technology and algorithms to improve outcomes and opportunities for marginalized groups. Going forward in 2022, I think we will see a rise in these types of academic collaborations between technologists, social workers, policy officials, and activists.Manojit Nandi, DataKind Volunteer

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Getting your data systems to talk to each other is essential pre-work for operationalizing machine learning models. The need to prioritize data engineering has grown in recognition among social sector organizations over the last few years, and I think that will continue into 2022.Rachel Wells, DataKind Staff

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DataKind continues to be a leader in the Data for Good movement, championing it to reach a larger fraction of humanity and inspiring the next generation of leaders and doers towards better action.Bhargav Kowshik, DataKind Volunteer

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Often the greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Our global volunteer community has shown up time and time again even in the midst of challenges. 2022 will be a year of continued movement building and inspiration at DataKind. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead!Shanna Lee, DataKind Staff

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Joining the DataKind Movement

DataKind’s work is possible through the generosity of our volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors. If you’re moved and can join us in supporting this and our future important work, please become a donor here. Every gift helps DataKind harness the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity.

Join us in advancing the use of data science to support causes that can help make the world a better place. 

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