AI for Sustainable Development

AI for Sustainable Development

Webinar Speaker:

Dr. Stefano Ermon

About the Webinar

Recent technological developments are creating new data streams that contain a wealth of information relevant to sustainable development goals. Modern AI techniques have the potential to yield accurate, inexpensive, and highly scalable models to inform research and policy. A key challenge, however, is the lack of large quantities of labeled data that often characterize successful machine learning applications. In this talk, I will present new approaches for learning applicable spatiotemporal models in contexts where labeled training data is scarce or not available at all. I will show applications to predict and map poverty in developing countries, monitor agricultural productivity and food security outcomes, and map infrastructure access in Africa. Our methods can reliably predict economic well-being using only high-resolution satellite imagery. Because images are passively collected in every corner of the world, our methods can provide timely and accurate measurements in a very scalable end-economic way. They could revolutionize efforts toward global poverty eradication.

About the Speaker

Stefano Ermon is an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the CS Department at Stanford University, affiliated with the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and a fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment. His research is centered on techniques for the probabilistic modeling of data and is motivated by applications in the emerging field of computational sustainability. He has won several awards, including Best Paper Awards (ICLR, AAAI, UAI, and CP), an NSF Career Award, ONR, and AFOSR Young Investigator Awards, Microsoft Research Fellowship, Sloan Fellowship, and the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award. Stefano earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University in 2015.