IBM's computing power will tackle the world's biggest problems

The company’s Science for Social Good program will use AI, cloud and deep science to solve global challenges.

IBM's Watson is celebrated for winning at Jeopardy, cooking exotic meals and collaborating with Grammy-winning producers, but its capacity for doing good may its most important skill. The company's famous AI system is able to create cancer treatment programs that are as good as what human oncology physicians recommend. Watson also saved the life of a 60-year-old woman from leukemia last year in Tokyo. Obviously recognizing the potential, IBM announced Science for Social Good, a new program that will pair Watson's AI, cloud and "deep science" technologies with postdoctoral academic fellows to help solve the world's biggest challenges.

Current projects under the Science for Social Good umbrella include one focused on fighting the current opioid crisis, a plan to find and predict the rise of infectious diseases, an exploration of best practices for providing emergency food supplies, a project to influence human behavior to conserve energy and the creation of an open innovation platform for scientific discovery. The initiative also promises that "more projects addressing some of the world's biggest challenges" will be coming soon. As reported by Mashable, IBM's new program follows an early group of pilot projects conducted in 2016 that looked at health care, humanitarian crises and global development.

With so many concerns over AI taking over our jobs and creating some sort of machine doomsday, it's great news to hear about programs like this that promote the social good.