Microsoft Research India Workshop on AI and Social Good

About the Workshop

Artificial Intelligence has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, and this rise in AI applications has stimulated significant interest from the public, media and policy makers. This increasing attention is often focused on the negative consequences of AI, often overlooking the societal benefits that AI can deliver. This workshop on “AI and Social Good” will focus on that missing perspective: how AI can help solve difficult societal challenges, in assisting low resource communities, public health and welfare, public safety and security,  and conservation. To that end, the workshop aims to bring together leading AI researchers, social work researchers, and experts/policy makers from a wide variety of domains, from all over the world. This forum/workshop will be collaborative in nature.  Through this workshop, we hope to establish concrete partnerships, and work toward improving the world we live in–both big and small, locally and internationally.

More details on the workshop will be updated here later.


Program Committee

Milind Tambe, University of Southern California

Y. Narahari, Indian Institute of Science

Sriram Rajamani, Microsoft Research

Amit Sharma, Microsoft Research

Organizing Committee

Satish Sangameswaran, Microsoft Research

Siddharth Prakash, Microsoft Research

Chris Gould Sandhu, Microsoft Research



Tentative outline Agenda

AI and Social Good workshop: Tentative Program

Goal: Spark inter-disciplinary collaborations and concrete projects between researchers and practitioners, including social entrepreneurs and NGOs.

Each session has ~4-5 talks and ends with a discussion panel with the presenters and a moderator.

10 min talks each. Each panel will be 20 minutes.


Day 1: Oct 16

9:00-9:45 Opening remarks

  • Sriram Rajamani, MSR (15 mins)
  • Yadati Narahari, IISc. (15 mins)
  • Milind/Eric, USC (15 mins)

9:45-11:15 Theme: Healthcare

*Sze-chuan Suen/Bryan Wilder, USC – TB modeling in India

*Keyur Sorathia, IITG – TB in India

*Amulya Yadav, USC – Maximizing awareness about HIV

*Phebe Vayanos, USC – Suicide prevention, drug addiction, kidney matching, housing matching

*Anamika Barman-Adhikari, Denver – Homeless youth and drug addiction

*Prachi Patel/Sankalp Jain/Shiv Kumar, Swasti – NGO working on public health and use of tech.

*Panel Discussion (Moderator: PJ Narayanan, IIITH)


11:45-12:45pm  Theme: Sustainability

*Bart Selman, Cornell — AI and sustainability

*Krithi Ramamritham, IITB—smart homes and electric grids, predicting solar power exposure

*Yogesh Simmhan, IISc. –smart IISc. campus with sensors and data mining

*Bharadwaj Amrutur, IISc. –Bosch center for cyber physical systems, smart cities

*Panel Discussion (Moderator: Pankaj Jalote, Director, IIITD)

12:45-2pm: Lunch

2pm-3:30pm Theme: Digital society for all

*Colin Scott, MSR –Karya, dignified work for masses, e.g. in crowdsourcing

*Mausam, IITD – optimization in crowdsourcing and education

*Ganesh Ramakrishnan, IITB – automating reading comprehension for MOOCs.

*Sunita Sarawagi, IITB- Venter, smart complaint tool Venter

*Saptarshi Ghosh, IITKGP—disaster response and online social media

*Sudheendra Hangal, Ashoka:  Data-driven analysis of Indian political system

*Panel discussion (Moderator: Balaraman Ravindran, IITM, Bosch center for Data science and AI)

3:30-4:00pm Break

4:00pm-4:45pm Theme: Frugal Innovations for Rural Areas

*Aaditeshwar Seth, IITD:Technology solution for rural areas

*Akshay Nambi, MSR—AgriKites, learning with aerial sensors in agriculture

*Vinay Kumar, Digital Green — organization using technology for advancing agriculture

*Panel Discussion (Moderator: Bill Thies, MSR)

4:45-5:00pm Break

5:00-6pm Open discussion in small teams based on self-selected themes.


Day 2: Oct 17

9:00-10:30am: Theme: Urban planning and transportation

*Sriganesh Lokanathan, LIRNEasia — urban planning and development using large-scale mobile data

*Abdul R. Pinjari, IISc. — transport modeling and user behavior in urban systems

*Sandip Chakaraborty, IITKGP – CrowdMap, mobile solution for current traffic conditions

*Praveen Paruchuri, IIITH– traffic patterns and planning during an emergency

*Venkat Padmanabhan, MSR – HAMS sensors intelligence in automobiles for safety.

*Bivas Mitra, IITKGP – UrbanEye, Travel assistance app for public transport

*Panel Discussion (Moderator: Amit Sharma, MSR)

10:30-11:00am: Coffee Break

11:00-12:00pm: More discussion in small teams (continued from the first day)

12:00-1:00pm: Informal presentations on potential projects from each team

1-2pm: Lunch