For Media


The alliance will provide an AI-supported decision-making platform to help the world’s policy leaders mitigate the pandemic’s impact on lives and livelihoods
PALO ALTO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, July 9, 2020 — The Future Society and Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), with the support of UNESCO and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, are coming together today to announce the creation of the Collective and Augmented Intelligence Against COVID-19 (CAIAC) alliance.
View more
PALO ALTO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, July 9, 2020 — The Future Society and Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), with the support of UNESCO and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, are coming together today to announce the creation of the Collective and Augmented Intelligence Against COVID-19 (CAIAC) alliance. CAIAC will establish an advisory group which aims to welcome experts from international organizations, including UNESCO, UN Global Pulse and other UN entities. CAIAC will structure the rapidly expanding collection of global health, social and economic data on the pandemic to enable the world’s decision-makers to confidently take action. By turning data into knowledge, CAIAC will help those at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, including multilateral institutions, policymakers, healthcare leaders, and the scientific community.

Today, actionable COVID-19 data is scarce because the virus is still novel. At the same time data is abundant, as it emerges quickly from many different sources with no trusted filter. Research institutions, think-tanks, and NGOs the world over have rushed to add their analyses and models to the data being reported by countries. The result, however, is a mass of information and a shortage of insight. To respond to this pressing global challenge, CAIAC is bringing together multiple data sources and expertise from a diverse group of global initiatives and building a dynamic and state-of-the-art decision-support tool that is comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date, and ethical. 

The initiative’s founding members are partnering closely with private sector companies, including,, Element AI, Axis, GLG, and Planet on the technology that combines human and artificial intelligence to power this decision-making platform. Covington & Burling LLP is providing legal guidance for the initiative. The platform will be available to multilateral organizations, governments and global entities working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. CAIAC will also collaborate with technical, scientific, and civil society partners around the world to collect data on COVID-19, identify critical domains where structured information on the pandemic is needed most, and ensure multi-stakeholder governance processes.

CAIAC aims to create an immediately useful Minimum Viable Product (MVP) focused on three initial use cases: tracking and tracing of contagion chains via mobility data and artificial intelligence, identifying and addressing inaccurate information on COVID-19, and finding marginalized areas most affected by second and third order pandemic impacts to deploy the appropriate interventions needed.

CAIAC will enable the global community to better identify best practices and coordinate in the fight against COVID-19 by providing cross-country and cross-sector insights on all aspects of the pandemic. The key to sustainable results is multi-stakeholder collaboration on a common, unified, transparent knowledge base that documents and disseminates best practices. CAIAC hopes to accelerate solutions that will help the world navigate the current pandemic, while also building a foundation of knowledge to address future global challenges.
View less

Here’s what the leaders involved are saying about the launch of CAIAC:

“The pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable we are as a civilization. It has also accelerated innovation and global cooperation with the blossoming of thousands of bottom-up initiatives to find solutions. Creating a coherent, truly holistic, knowledge platform for policy makers to navigate the flow of information has become a necessity. Fortunately, modern technologies such as AI can be used to harness vast amounts of disparate data and produce meaningful insights. CAIAC will build this ground-breaking decision-making tool for global leaders to help solve the pandemic and accelerate the economic and social recovery.” 
– Cyrus Hodes, Co-founder & Chair of the AI Initiative at The Future Society

“COVID-19 represents a shared and urgent global challenge. AI can play an important role in helping us emerge from the pandemic by organizing the vast quantities of data and emerging research, and combined with human intelligence, surfacing critical insights to support evidence-based decision making. Through this alliance, Stanford HAI and CAIAC will help connect the breadth of research across Stanford with public health leaders, policy makers, and others worldwide on the front lines of this crisis.”
– Michael Sellitto, Deputy Director, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

“The COVID-19 pandemic presents decision-makers with challenges in understanding the rapidly changing new reality and trying to predict its future impacts. We know that part of the problem is the lag-time in easy access to actionable information, which is why we welcome the creation of CAIAC’s global data platform. Our hope is that CAIAC will make it possible not only to gain better insights in privacy-respectful ways to inform our decision-making processes, but also to connect researchers, practitioners and policy-makers around the world.”
– Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, UN Global Pulse

“The response to the global COVID-19 crisis has mobilized unprecedented resources through bottom-up approaches, at local, country and international levels, to address the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Hundreds of technology initiatives are being launched, bringing the human capital and technological resources of the world to find solutions to this common threat. The level of data and knowledge generation is, however, outstripping our ability to process it. CAIAC will ensure an ethical and dynamic technology infrastructure to accelerate the integration of best practices and breakthroughs, building on our common, collective knowledge and intelligence. This is the way we can effectively combat the pandemic, and the accompanying “infodemic” surrounding the virus.”
– Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director-General, Communication and Information, UNESCO

"To make better policy, we need accelerated models of collaborative science. Researchers require new tools to rapidly share data and findings to catalyze breakthroughs and prevent duplication. We are optimistic that CAIAC will serve as a demonstration case of the power of global data repositories to fuel human progress." 
–Vilas Dhar, Trustee of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

Media Contacts
Geena Wardaki, Edelman:
Nicolas Moës, The Future Society:
Stacy Peña, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI: 
Clare O'Hagan, UNESCO: