This article was published by The Future Society in Special Projects, The AI Initiative on November 15, 2019

The Global Data Access Framework

Main insight

The Global Data Access Framework aims at leveraging the revolution in advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Special ProjectsThe AI Initiative
November 15, 2019
2 min read

The Global Data Access Framework (GDAF) aims at leveraging the revolution in advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence to support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has been envisioned as a precursor for the AI for SDGs Center (AI4SDG) and is a part of the AI Commons initiative.

Cyrus Hodes, Board member & Chair of the AI Initiative, co-leads GDAF on behalf of The Future Society along with UN Global Pulse, McKinsey & Company’s Noble Purpose AI, and the AI Commons. GDAF also has numerous multi-stakeholder partners.

The 1st GDAF workshop occurred at the World Government Summit in Dubai in Feb. 2019 as part of the ‘Global Governance of AI Forum’. The 2nd GDAF workshop was held at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva in May 2019. The 3rd workshop took place close to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25th, 2019. The 4th workshop will occur at the World Bank/IMF spring 2020 meetings.

GDAF aims to address a major barrier in the application of AI for SDGs: Access to quality data. Despite the huge impact potential and increased appetite to collaborate, data collaborative efforts are still constrained.

During the 2019 Global Governance of AI Forum, ~40 global technology companies, non-profits, and international organizations were invited to submit their position on what it would take to create a Global Data Access Framework. Next, the workshops aim to define use cases and launch pilots with multiple stakeholders to bring together data siloes and enable access to data for AI for social good. Pilots go beyond current public-private data collaboration efforts (e.g. Facebook Disaster Maps, Landsat, National Fine Dust Forecast Project). For more information, see the Global Data Commons first and second workshop posters.