By Rich Palmer • July 20, 2018

Canada's Impact on AI

Recently, Gravyty was mentioned in two articles on Hilborn: Charity eNews which provides independent Canadian news and analysis for the nonprofit sector.

The first is by Roger Ali, President & CEO at Niagara Health Foundation, titled "What the future holds with Artificial Intelligence", in which he says:

Gravyty ‘First Draft’ is the first artificial intelligence application designed to automatically craft the first draft of personalized, donor-centric emails for frontline fundraisers at nonprofit organizations. As we continue to experience disruptive technologies in the non-profit sector, we need to be more prepared how to integrate AI in what has been a fairly traditional philanthropic landscape for tomorrow’s donors.

The second is by Matt Dubins, Chief Data Scientist at Donor Science, titled "An open letter to fundraisers about #Analytics and #AI", in which he says:

One possible application of AI, along with a thing called Natural Language Processing, is to automatically craft text-based communication such as Gravyty’s “First Draft”.

These articles are significant in many ways, but two that we would like to point out directly.

First, the work we are doing continues to be validated by the industry. AI is poised to move the entire sector of social good forward if efforts stay focused on building products that make a difference in growing donor relationships and raising funds, while respecting people's needs during a transition into an AI-enabled future.

Second, Hilborn, Roger, and Matt are all from Canada. As attendees of the talk that Gravyty co-founder and CTO, Rich Palmer, gave at APRA ProspectCon this year ("How to Become an AI-Enabled Nonprofit") are aware, Canada played a major role in shaping the AI landscape we see today. During the 70s and early 80s, AI was going through a "winter" period in which public funding and private interest all but dried up because the use cases, data, and compute power did not live up to the hype of the algorithms from the 50s and 60s. It has been efforts by the Canadian government and university systems to support previously fringe AI and neural network researchers, such as Geoff Hinton, Yann LeCun, Richard Sutton, and Yoshua Bengio which revitalized the industry and allows us to do what we do today for our clients.