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Artificial intelligence researchers win international “social good” award for tool designed to optimize childhood vaccinations in Nigeria


A team of Vanderbilt computer scientists, working in collaboration with Google Research and a global aid organization, HelpMum, received top honors in the “social good” category for a paper describing a new tool designed to optimize childhood health and wellness in Nigeria at the 2022 International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence Organization (IJCAI).

Ayan Mukhopadhyay, left, at the 2022 IJCAI Conference in Vienna.

Institute for Software Integrated Systems research scientist, Ayan Mukhopadhyay, PhD’19, worked with Abhishek Dubey, assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering, and Ph.D. student Michael Wilbur on the project along with collaborators from Google Research.  The team received the award at the 2022 IJCAI conference—the premier gathering in the field—held in Vienna in July.

Each day, Nigeria loses as many as 2,300 children under the age of five, due to poor health conditions and a vaccination rate of only 23 percent. The project, “ADVISER: AI Driven Vaccination Intervention Optimizer,” draws on various data to optimize health interventions amid uncertainty. The system is designed to increase vaccine uptake and will be used by seven local governments in the Nigerian city of Ibadan later this year.