The Rockefeller Foundation launches Atlas AI

The launch of the science-driven philanthropy enterprise Atlas AI has been marked by the appointment of Victoria Coleman, former Wikimedia Foundation CTO, as its first CEO


The Rockefeller Foundation has marked the launch of social enterprise Atlas AI, which will use ML algorithms and ground truth data to estimate economic activity and crop yield from satellite imagery.

The certified B Corporation was established by the Rockefeller Foundation and a group of Stanford University professors, and will develop data products that support global development, by focusing on development economics, crop science, remote sensing and AI.

The social enterprise will generate insights on poverty, crop yield and economic trends across Sub-Saharan Africa, and will be led by former Wikimedia Foundation chief technology officer, Victoria Coleman, who has been named as the organization's first CEO.

Zia Khan, VP of innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation, remarked: "Part of The Rockefeller Foundation's vision is to unlock AI's tremendous potential to improve people's well-being while mitigating downside risks.

"We're tremendously excited to welcome Victoria as Atlas AI's new CEO. We conducted an extensive search and she brings a unique combination of skills and experiences to complement a world-class team."

Atlas AI was originally established by professors David Lobell, Stefano Ermon and Marshall Burke of Stanford University, with the three professors having previously demonstrated that satellite imagery, with a combination of economic data, space technology and ML algorithms, could be used to map poverty and crop yields in Africa.

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