Paul Allen enlists machine learning as force for good

Elephant identification with AI
Machine-learning technology can contribute to image recognition programs that could identify elephants in aerial imagery on their own. (Vulcan Photo)

Paul Allen has made a name for himself as a co-founder of Microsoft, a supporter of artificial intelligence research and a contributor to causes such as wildlife conservation — so it only makes sense that the Seattle-area billionaire wants to use machine learning to further his philanthropic goals.

His latest contribution comes through the Seattle-based Vulcan Machine Learning Center for Impact, or VMLCI. “Its mission will be to apply the tools of machine learning and AI for good,” Bill Hilf, CEO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., said today in a tweet.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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