Tech giants use of AI to the famine in coordination with international groups

Google is one of the many tech companies to cooperate with the U. N. and the World Bank to combat the famine.


Google, Amazon and Microsoft are linking the poor with international organizations to use artificial intelligence to identify and prevent famine.

International organisations such as the world bank, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross together with leading technology companies to launch Famine Action Mechanism (FAM)—an initiative to harness the predictive power of the data to prevent famine.

In 2017, according to the world bank, more than 20 million people faced with famine or famine-like conditions in the northeast region of Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan. Responses of humanitarian organizations often have come too late, after many, many lives have already been lost.


“The FAM wants to change this by moving in the direction of famine prevention, preparedness, and a rapid-action interventions that can save more lives and reducing the humanitarian costs by 30 percent,” the bank said in a statement on Sunday.

The tech giants are joining forces to provide expertise to the development of a set of tools called “Artemis” that they will use AI and machine learning to estimate and predict food insecurity in real time, allowing authorities and agencies to respond faster.

“Artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies can be a powerful influence for good, and we have already seen that they have the potential to help farmers identify disease in cassava plants, keeping the cows healthier and more productive, and the integration of the total aid,” said Kent Walker, Google’s Senior Vice President of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, in a statement.

“Google is proud to partner with the world bank about the Famine Action Mechanism to prevent future famines in communities all over the world,” he added.


Amazon, Google and Microsoft are already using AI in a number of different ways and have big ambitions for the technology.

The collaboration between tech giants and international groups will be rolled out first to a smaller group of vulnerable countries and later worldwide. It builds on U. N. work that puts prevention at the top of the efforts to address food insecurity, poverty and famine.

“Famines are part of the whole of human history in human history. In fact, probably the worst famine the world has ever seen took place during my life,” said United National Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock on Monday during the General Assembly in New York.

Lowcock added: “But it is also true that the famine is much rarer. There are only two declared famine during the last 20 years. … The FAM can help us all countries outside of the plague.”

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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