Australia’s leading addiction treatment and research centre is one of 20 organisations worldwide to share US$25 million in grants from Google.org.

Eastern Health is the only Australian organisation to win the Google AI Impact Challenge.

The Google AI Impact Challenge was an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions from around the world to submit their ideas to use AI to help address societal challenges. This year’s challenge attracted 2,602 applications from 119 countries.

Turning Point and its partners, Monash University and the Eastern Health Foundation, are the only Australian grant recipients. They will use the grant to develop a national monitoring system which has the potential to set international standards informing suicide prevention efforts.

Ambulances are often the first point of contact with someone who is suicidal, but ambulance clinical records are significantly under-utilised to treat and prevent suicide.

The project will involve using AI methodologies to streamline coding of national ambulance suicide-related attendance data. The resulting data would play a central role in informing public health prevention, policy and intervention, as well as identifying emerging trends, hidden populations and geographical hotspots for targeted responses relating to suicide.

The other organisations selected as grantees of the Google AI Impact Challenge address issues in the areas of health; economic opportunity and empowerment; environmental protection and conservation; education; misinformation; and crisis and emergency response.

Some 40% of the applications came from organisations with no previous experience in artificial intelligence, which is still a developing concept in the social impact field. Google.org chose the best projects based on feasibility, potential for impact, scalability and the responsible use of AI.

The Google AI Impact Challenge winners will also receive credit and consulting from Google Cloud and coaching by Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts as a grantee of the Google AI Impact Challenge.

Eastern Health will join a local network of more than 20 nonprofits in Australia supported by Google.org.

 

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