Inspiring Action: Identifying the Social Sector AI Opportunity Gap

February 2024
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Inspiring Action: Identifying the Social Sector AI Opportunity Gap is a working paper developed by Project Evident and Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence on the current use of, interest in, and opportunity for AI in the social and education sectors. Based on a first-of-its-kind survey conducted in late 2023, the paper demonstrates how AI is already being used, surfaces opportunities, and identifies challenges. As a call to action, it makes the case for advancing learning, experimentation, and investment in AI, and closing inequitable gaps in the social and education sectors. 

The growing consensus is that participation from a broader set of voices is essential to ensure that AI and related technology is developed and used in inclusive and equitable ways. Specifically, in defining how AI tools are developed, how they are integrated, and what investment and infrastructure is required to deploy AI for better, more equitable outcomes. While there are bright spots, many feel they lack sufficient expertise to participate in these discussions, risking the exclusion of deep field knowledge in future AI systems and missed opportunities afforded by AI. Funder use and understanding often lags practitioner use, and that is an important gap to close so that we have better informed support for capacity building, infrastructure and governance. Together we can minimize gaps and elevate opportunity not just for operational efficiency, but more importantly for better outcome, mission attainment and for field level social change. 

The findings from this effort will inform continued knowledge sharing and field building by Project Evident, and we hope it inspires participants in the philanthropic, technology, academic, social, and education sectors to invest, learn, and upskill so we can accelerate the use of AI for more equitable outcomes. 

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See how Project Evident is working to advance the use of safe and equitable AI in the social and education sectors.

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