Skolkovo Companies Successfully Pitch AI Solutions at
UN's "AI for Good" Summit
Five Russian companies, four of which are Skolkovo residents, pitched their sustainable AI-based solutions at the UN global summit “AI for Good.” The five companies were selected from a group of 40 startups that offered solutions tackling the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).
While the audience comprised government and corporate bodies, as well as a wider audience, the active audience was made up of a panel of four expert judges that offered feedback and constructive advice to the pitching startups.
The startup companies – Oz Forensics, Intellogic (Botkin.AI), Sol, BioGeoHab, and EMBLE – are part of the Skolkovo innovation center’s Sk[ai]HUB, a project that brings together Russia’s best AI companies. Sergey Dutov, , the founder and project leader of Sk[ai]HUB, an ecosystem for ai companies, offered opening words of welcome.
Sergey Dutov, the founder and project leader of Sk[ai]HUB. Screengrab: Sk.ru.
“It is an honor for me to speak and it is an honor for the Skolkovo Foundation to be a co-organizer at this event,” said Mr. Dutov. “Skolkovo is the biggest Russian high-tech ecosystem and includes two thousand five hundred startups, over a hundred corporate R&D centers, Skoltech – a leading scientific university – and more than two thousand citizens on four hundred hectares. Two years ago, we began paying additional attention to artificial intelligence, having been inspired by the AI for Good global summit, ITU and UN initiatives. That is why we launched the Global Challenge program to promote sustainable development goals among the high-tech community globally, and to bring the best AI-solutions from our AI map. Forty companies are on that map and five of them are pitching here today.”
The panel of judges comprised four prominent experts hailing from different parts of the globe: Sasha Cahill, a serial entrepreneur in MedTech commercialization; Vera Futorjanski, the CEO and founder of Veritas Ventures and an innovation expert at the UN; Neil Sahota, an IBM master inventor, a UN artificial intelligence subject matter expert, and lecturer at UC Irvine; and Anna Gishko, an investment manager at Terra VC.
Neil Sahota IBM master inventor, a UN artificial intelligence subject matter expert. Screengrab: Sk.ru
During their opening statements, the judges underscored the changes taking place in the global market, especially in the context of Covid-19 disrupting society and the world economy. The pandemic has driven the need for AI-based solutions and the role of AI will be crucial not just in helping humanity cope with the fallout from this crisis, but also in tackling the looming climate change crisis, poverty, improving the gender balance, improving health, and so on.
According to Mr. Sahota, the pandemic has made people in the technology sphere realize how much data needs to be processed quickly and that this is driving the need for “external vision.” The result is that a lot more attention is being directed towards building AI tools and solutions to accelerate towards solving current problems.
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