APRU | November 29, 2022
The AI for Social Good Project – Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific has recently passed the milestone of onboarding two key government agencies.
The project is the latest collaboration between the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), UN ESCAP, and Google.org, which commenced in mid-2021 and will run until the end of 2023. Over the past year, meetings and workshops have been held with government agencies from Thailand and Bangladesh. The confirmed government partners to join the project are the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) of Thailand, in close collaboration with the National Electronics and Computer Center (NECTEC) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency and the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) under the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, and the Bangladesh Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme. NXPO and a2i are affiliated with Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and the ICT Division and Cabinet Division of Bangladesh, respectively.
The AI for Social Good multi-stakeholder network was initially set up in 2019, among the first milestones being the creation of a platform that convenes leading experts from the region to explore opportunities and challenges for maximizing AI benefits for society. After these activities engaged a wide range of policy experts and practitioners, the three project partners decided that it was the right time to move on to the next stage of working directly with government agencies to apply the insights generated through the collaborative project to date. The aim has been to work with government partners in Asia and the Pacific to grow sound and transparent AI ecosystems that support sustainable development goals.
“Recognizing that AI offers transformative solutions for achieving the SDGs, we are pleased to participate in the AI for Social Good Project to share experience and research insights to develop enabling AI policy frameworks.”
-Dr. Kanchana Wanichkorn, NXPO’s Vice President.
NXPO identified ‘Poverty Alleviation’ and ‘Medicine and Healthcare’ as two areas of need that are now tackled by two academic project teams. To alleviate poverty and inequality, the Thai government has developed data-driven decision-making systems to improve public access to state welfare programs. The project, under the academic leadership of the Australia National University (ANU) team, will focus on enhancing the human-centered design and public accessibility of these technologies to support successful implementation. In addition, research on AI for medical applications has increased exponentially in the past few years in Thailand. However, the progress in developing and applying AI from research to market in these areas is relatively slow. To support and accelerate the use of AI in medicine and healthcare, the expert team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) will focus their research and analysis on identifying crucial bottlenecks and gaps that impede the beneficial use of AI.
While the two Bangladesh projects both focus on the need for ‘Continuing and Personalized Pregnancy Monitoring’ (to improve health outcomes during and after birth), they are exploring different aspects of this key focus area for the government of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of the team from NUS & KAIST, the first project investigates challenges in perceptions and reception of incorporating AI into continuous pregnancy monitoring systems. Under the leadership of the University of Hawai‘i Team, the second project circles in on technological issues of Bangladesh’s healthcare sector and their impacts on AI-based data analysis and decision-making processes.
The academic integrity of both sets of country projects is overseen by Toni Erskine, Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. Erskine guides both the conception of the research questions in collaboration with the government partners and the delivery of the project outputs by providing support for the four academic teams in developing their projects.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to lead a project that brings together such an impressive, multidisciplinary group of researchers with government agencies that are so passionate about finding solutions to crucial problems – ranging from poverty alleviation to maternal health care, the process of working closely with government agencies from the outset to discuss these problems and co-design research questions makes this project unique and genuinely collaborative. I’m very proud to be part of it.”
-Toni Erskine, Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU.
The following steps for the ‘AI for Social Good Project: Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific’ project will be to review and discuss the first complete drafts of the research papers by the four academic teams at a workshop in January. The partner government agencies from Bangladesh and Thailand will attend the workshop. Workshops with both government teams will also follow the presentation of final papers in the second quarter of 2023. To mark the project's conclusion, a summit with all participants in the project will be held in mid-2023 at the Australia National University.
Sapia.ai | December 02, 2022
Sapia.ai, creator of the world's first smart interviewer, are proud to announce that they have been accepted onto the UK government's Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement framework G-Cloud 13.Organisations can now find and purchase Sapia.ai's tools, including its AI-empowered smart chat which has shown to help companies deliver on their Diversity KPI's when hiring, from the government's digital marketplace. The G-cloud framework launched in 2012, with the aim of easing the procurement process for the UK government and other public sector bodies. Sapia.ai has joined over 5000 suppliers to offer its solutions within the framework.
Public sector organisations are now able to access, review, and purchase Sapia.ai's automated and bias-free hiring solution easily through the marketplace, knowing that it has been vetted by the G-cloud framework. Sapia.ai is truly unique in that it allows candidates to apply for a job through a simple text chat - negating the need for CVs which have been shown to be full of bias - even when anonymised. Instead, using Sapia.ai's AI-driven technology and its bias-free database of interview responses, Sapia.ai can create an accurate and independent profile of a candidate matching their skills with their ability to do the job within seconds. Every candidate also receives personalized feedback that they can use to improve in areas for future job searches, as well as helping them understand where their strengths lie.
"We are delighted to have been included in the G-Cloud 13 framework. When our technology can simultaneously lead to customers seeing accelerated diversity after just 3 months of use, as in the case of our customer Woodies, you know you have built game changing technology,We cannot wait for it to do the same in the public sector that we have for so many companies. "
-Barb Hyman,CEO Sapia.ai.
By using Sapia.ai public sector customers can now deliver:
An interview for every candidate that applies without any need for CVs.
A fast and human-focussed automated hiring system that fits into current HR processes.
A time-efficient shortlisting process, while every candidate receives personalized feedback.
More diverse hires with highly accurate job matching.
An immediate impact on D&I KPIs.
Huge cost and time savings on recruitment.
Sapia's mission is to help companies unlock and engage talent at scale. With its blind, automated chat interview and comprehensive DEI analytics platform, Sapia's technology is the first solution of its kind to disrupt biases that affects traditional recruitment processes – resulting in fair outcomes for candidates and companies.
United States Department of Defense | December 01, 2022
Unimed Government Services (UGS), a leading provider of supply chain solutions for government, schools, public health organizations, and the private sector, announced today that it has received a five-year Department of Defense (DOD) contract to provide medical and dental equipment and accessories in support of the DOD's mission to protect the security of the United States.
The contract is a $48,000,000 maximum, fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity agreement for medical and dental equipment and accessories for the Defense Logistics Agency electronic catalog. The location of performance is Minnesota with a contract completion date of November 15, 2027.
"Unimed Government Services has been supplying the federal government with the leading dental and medical equipment, product expertise, and customized solutions for over a decade, We strive to apply our high standards of service excellence coupled with the leading manufacturers' technologies to support the Tri-Service dental and medical clinics throughout the U.S. and the world, as well as our Veterans Administration Medical Centers and Indian Health Facilities. We are proud to provide the best equipment and solutions available to support our servicemen, women and our veterans."
-Judith Manchester, chief executive officer for UGS.
Unimed Government Services has helped more than 20,000 clinics deliver healthcare excellence since its creation in 2010. As a distributor of the world's leading equipment and technologies in dental, medical and infection control, UGS supplies government, municipalities, schools, public health organizations and the private sector with the highest-quality products and equipment to care for their members. UGS represents leading manufacturers, providing dental and medical equipment, from imaging equipment and software to dental core products, clinic cabinetry and laboratory case work, as well as surface disinfection technologies for infection control. With deep expertise in clinic and laboratory design, UGS also creates custom, end-to-end solutions. UGS belongs to and sponsors several professional societies dedicated to safe, quality care delivery, including the American Dental Association (ADA) where UGS members serve on the Board of Dental Standards, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) where UGS is a Super Sponsor, the American Dental Educators Association (ADEA), the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and Woman in Defense (WID). Based in Concord, Mass., Lakeville, MN., and Mt. Pleasant, TX, UGS is a certified woman-owned small business (WOSB) and member of the Woman Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).