Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

AI For Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response: Its Human Element

Mini Summit

Friday, February 17, 2023

9:00am – 2:00pm

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street or register here for virtual event

Lunch provided by Plant City

AI can play an important role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR). To ensure AI’s success on such use cases (and for all users), it is critical to consider its human element: the different stakeholders in the HADR environment, their distinct goals, pain points, and design needs, how they’ll interact with AI technologies in the field, how to apply AI technologies fairly and ethically, and more. Put differently, we must emphasize human-centered design, think deeply about human computer interaction, and practice responsible AI. This half-day mini summit will feature group discussion as well as speakers from academia, government, military, NGOs, and the technology sector.

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. 
9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Bill Marino, Brown University 
High-level introduction to AI for HADR and the scope of the event 
9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. Nick Anderson, Brown University
A practical overview of disaster scenarios and the various stakeholders
9:50 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Emad Mostaque, Stability AI (CEO)
10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.  Jeff Liu, MIT Lincoln Lab
Presenting on the Low Altitude Disaster Image dataset and working with Amazon to develop classification of disaster scene images and inform disaster response. (see example of use here)
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Juan Lavista Ferres, Microsoft AI for Good Lab
Quick overview of the AI for Good Lab
Ukraine damage assessments
SEEDS India (satellite imagery to assess houses at risk of damage from natural disasters)
Themes  re: responsible AI/human centered AI
11:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Robert Soden, University of Toronto 
Responsible AI for HADR 
11:20 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Erin Hughey, Director of Global Operations, Pacific Disaster Center
12:00 p.m. - 12:35 p.m. Jihyeon Janel Lee, Stanford University, and Laura Keen, Senior Manager, GiveDirectly
Presenting on the AI-assisted effort by Google x GiveDirectly to distribute microfunds to hurricane victims
12:35 - 1:00 p.m. Dr. Thomas Azwell, University of California, Berkeley
Leveraging AI for wildfire issues and tech adoption
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch provided from Plant City