Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) is an independent, nonprofit research institute and global hub, developing AI solutions for social good.
Health, Agriculture, Financial inclusion, Infrastructure, and Education are among our initial focus areas.
At Wadhwani AI, we measure our success based on our impact, and keep the communities we are trying to help, at the core of our solutions.
We collaborate closely with our partners – Nonprofits, Governments, Companies, Academic and Research institutes – to identify problems AI can help solve. Working with them, we build datasets, develop and test solutions, iterate, and scale.
Based in India, we are close to the problems we are trying to solve. We push our innovations out of the lab and into the field quickly and interact frequently with beneficiaries, users, and decision makers in order to develop insights critical to our AI efforts. Our work is open access and free for use towards improving the lives of others.
We are working on three major problem areas, and are rapidly creating AI-based solutions - which will be ready for field tests, later this year.
Maternal and Child Health
A key component of global public health in the age of AI is empowering primary health facilities and health workers with technology to strengthen maternal and child health – the predominant focus of primary heath systems historically. Despite remarkable improvements over the past decade, we haven’t made enough progress on some problems. Though low birth weight (LBW) babies account for 48% of newborn deaths, current processes fail to identify many of them, making timely interventions difficult. We are creating a smartphone-based anthropometry technology that will allow frontline workers to screen for low birth weight babies in rural homes. This AI-powered virtual weighing machine will provide accurate, tamper-proof, geo-tagged measurements on a smartphone, without additional hardware or data connectivity. We currently have a preliminary proof of concept working in the simulation environment and are targeting field experiments starting August 2019.
Tuberculosis kills more people than HIV and malaria put together. In 2016, there were 10.4M new active TB cases and 1.7M deaths worldwide. It is estimated that as much as 50% of the TB cases may go unreported and unknown. India’s TB eradication effort is an ideal opportunity area where AI can make a difference, owing to factors such as centralized strategy and execution, dedicated government staff and budgets, support from organizations such as WHO, strong digital infrastructure, and multiple touchpoints across a patient’s journey. We are creating technologies to address multiple challenges across the cascade of TB care, starting with:
(1) Case load estimation at the district level using a variety of risk and transmission factors to help identify missing cases, and
(2) Prioritisation of TB patients for health workers through stratification of the risk of drop-off from treatment. We became the official AI partner for India’s Central Tuberculosis Division (CTD) in January 2019 and are working collaboratively with the CTD team on our projects.
Cotton is India’s third largest crop after rice and wheat. 75% of India’s cotton is grown by small-holder farmers who struggle with uncertainty in yield and income; the inability to manage pests despite heavy pesticide usage is a critical challenge they face. Around a thousand cotton farmers committed suicide in 2017-18 after a pink bollworm attack destroyed 40% of the yield. We are creating technologies to help reduce crop losses through integrated pest management. We have already developed algorithms that detect two major pests, and have completed field demos in partnership with the Better Cotton Initiative and the Government of Maharashtra. We aim to develop a more comprehensive pest management tool ready for testing by October 2019.
Join us in bringing AI to the underserved billions. Our partnerships engage diverse capabilities, perspectives, and enable us to tackle big problems.
Our in-house team collaborates with, and hosts researchers and research groups from some of the world’s leading institutions. We have research collaborations with Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Washington.
Social Impact Partners
As a global hub for open innovation, Wadhwani AI welcomes faculty researchers, postdocs, and student interns - and connects them with domain experts and organizations working on problems of their interest. If you are interested in joining our team, please look at our careers page for open positions.
Our mission is to also facilitate an active dialogue between the research community and the broader public to explore the ethical dimensions of AI research and implementation. It is important to us to establish guidelines for the use of AI, so we can ensure and publish best practices, keeping in mind the wellbeing of those who are most vulnerable in our society.