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By Kevin Leahy • July 16, 2019

An Evening to Remember: AAAC & Gravyty Celebrate State of AI in Advancement

On July 15, 2019, The AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC) and Gravyty hosted more than 100 advancement leaders, distinguished guests, and technology providers passionate about artificial intelligence (AI) at the Boston Public Library to celebrate the launch of the first benchmark report on the state of AI in the industry.

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The State of AI in Advancement Report is the first in a long line of outputs to come from the AAAC, whose mission is to ensure that transformative AI technology is applied in transparent and ethical ways and accessible to all nonprofit organizations in pursuit of their missions to make the world a better place. As AAAC member and CEO of Gravyty, Adam Martel, explained, the event’s location was intentional, and a nod to the history of innovation.

“The AAAC has been working hard to define exactly what artificial intelligence is in the advancement space. As the first AI company in our industry, Gravyty recognized that we also have the responsibility to evaluate transparent and ethical uses of the technology. Similarly, the Boston Public Library represents equality and fairness. At a time when few were literate, education was unattainable for the masses. Through a collaborative effort, the historic Boston Public Library was erected to change that and ensure access to education. Our hope is that the AAAC will be the conduit that makes AI technology available to everyone.”

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About half of the AAAC’s members were in attendance for the event, including Adam Martel (Gravyty), Marijana Radic Boone (College of Charleston), Chris Tobin (College of Charleston), Karin George (Washburn & McGoldrick), David Woodruff (MIT), Evelyn Buchanan (California State University, Chico), Laurel Lyle (Cure Alzheimer’s Fund), and Rod Grabowski (University at Buffalo). 

“I’m proud to represent the AAAC,” said Chris Tobin, Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at The College of Charleston and Executive Director of The College of Charleston Foundation. “The work of the State of AI in Advancement Report stands out in two ways. First, it demonstrates a lot of the innovation in our profession that has otherwise been largely governed in a conservative way. AI allows us to test what we’re doing as professionals every day and helps inform our decisions and inspire others. Second, the work of the AAAC is rooted in a lot of the ethos that we, as advancement professionals, already believe in – mission, responsibility, judgment, and governance. The AAAC is proud to continue our work together and define what AI means for this very important profession.”

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David Woodruff, AAAC member and Associate Vice President and COO for Resource Development at MIT spoke to the audience about the many reasons AI is already impacting advancement.

“Technology -- and artificial intelligence -- makes the acquisition of knowledge possible. We don’t go a day without AI in our lives. The concept behind the AAAC is to help us pave the way and ask the right questions about how we should be looking at AI in advancement. It’s exciting to work together with a group of colleagues who are really committed to understanding this technology that could totally revolutionize how we think about business and the protections we have to take,” said Woodruff.

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For a free copy of the AAAC’s State of AI in Advancement Report, or to inquire about joining the AAAC, click here.

AAAC State of AI in Advancement Report