Google GenAI Accelerator Launches with $20 Million in Grants, the charitable arm of the Alphabet giant, has launched a program to help fund non-profits working on technology to support “high-impact applications of generative AI.” The Accelerator: Generative AI is a six-month program that kicks off with more than $20 million in grants for 21 non-profit firms. Among them, student writing aid group, job seeker for low- to middle-income countries Tabiya, and Benefits Data Trust, which helps low-income applicants access and enroll in public benefits. In addition to funds, the new unit provides mentorship, technical training and pro bono support from “a dedicated AI coach.”

“Generative AI can help social impact teams be more productive, creative and effective in serving their communities,” explains in a blog post that lists the initial recipients.

But while found that AI can help these ventures “achieve their goals in one third of the time at nearly half the cost,” almost 50 percent of those surveyed said their organization is not currently using AI due mainly to “lack of tools, awareness, training and funding.”

Through the Fellowship, three of the chosen non-profits — Tarjimly, Benefits Data Trust and mRelief — will get full time assistance from “teams of Googlers” for up to six months for help building their proposed generative AI tools.

“Tarjimly aims to use AI to translate languages for refugees, while Benefits Data Trust is tapping AI to create assistants that support caseworkers” in helping with public benefits enrollment, TechCrunch summarizes, adding that mRelief “is designing a tool to streamline the U.S. SNAP benefits application process” for food relief.

The Google for Nonprofits program reached out to over 4,600 organizations across 65 countries for input on a survey, the results of which appear in summary and in the PwrdBy report The State of Artificial Intelligence in the Nonprofit Sector.

“Encouragingly, the number of non-profit AI-focused startups is beginning to tick up,” writes TechCrunch, adding that “non-profit accelerator Fast Forward said that this year, more than a third of applicants for its latest class were AI companies. And Crunchbase reports that, more broadly, dozens of non-profit organizations across the globe are dedicating work around ethical approaches to AI, like AI ethics lab AlgorithmWatch, virtual reading clinic Joy Education and conservation advocacy group Earth05.”

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