One of the most promising technologies to emerge in recent years is artificial intelligence (AI) — computer programs that can execute tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, and decision making. These AI capabilities are achieved by combining massive volumes of data, referred to as “big data,” with algorithms that extract patterns and insights from the data. AI is already powering smart technology advancements like digital assistants, chatbots, ride-hailing applications, and self-driving cars.

But how can humanitarian organizations create value with artificial intelligence?

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization tackling global hunger, serving 115.5 million people in more than 80 countries. From blockchaindrones, and robotic technology to innovative financing and new agri-business models, we have been using a breadth of innovative solutions to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world and serve people more effectively around the globe.

WFP explores responsible, sustainable, and inclusive uses of AI as part of its Frontier Innovations Programme, which seeks technological innovations that can enhance humanitarian work. AI can assist humanitarian response by optimizing resource allocation, digitizing data management systems, and using chatbots to improve services to affected people.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key areas where AI is making an impact on WFP’s operations.