Can Artificial Intelligence transform our food system for the better?

ProVeg and partners want to get ideas such as incorporating animal ethics into AI tools or creating an AI training institute for animal advocates off the ground.

a young cow cuddling up to a young human child
Image source: Elena Sherengovskaya / shutterstock.com

If the meat industry can embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve its processes, animal campaign groups can as well!

ProVeg is urging individuals and groups focused on animal causes to apply to a new scheme, called Kickstarting for Good, to accelerate initiatives that push animal advocacy to new levels and into new areas.  

Together with partners, tech-focused Vegan Hacktivists and design-centred sister organization Violet Studios, ProVeg hopes to unleash the potential of AI to make the food system more animal-friendly.

How AI will change our world

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt society in countless ways. Yet AI’s impact on the food system and its effects on our planet remain uncertain. 

As AI adoption and capabilities are accelerating across industries, including animal agriculture, the plant-based and animal advocacy movement is lagging behind. 

Food giant JBS, for instance, collaborates with AI specialist Völur to “maximise carcass value and ensure optimal use of each animal”, as the two companies announced in September 2023 (1). 

As part of ProVeg’s Incubator and accelerator program Kickstarting for Good, ProVeg, Vegan Hacktivists and Violet Studios will work together to fast-track and integrate AI solutions within the animal advocacy movement.

More about Kickstarting for Good

Kickstarting for Good is ProVeg’s program to launch and grow new nonprofits and impact initiatives. It is the not-for-profit arm of the ProVeg Incubator, which has been working with over 100 food tech startups since 2018. Last year, Kickstarting for Good helped 10 founders to validate and launch new organizations. Applications for the 2024 cohort of the program are currently open.

“Talking to over 100 experts, we have identified AI as one of the high-potential ‘Idea Areas’ to focus on in the next cohort at Kickstarting for Good,” says ProVeg’s founding president Sebastian Joy. 

“Kickstarting for Good seeks to support effective ways to use AI to improve animal advocacy and transform the global food system. We’re very excited to work together with Vegan Hacktivists and Violet Studios to achieve this. Our joint goal is to identify the strongest founders and most impactful AI-focused ideas”.

ProVeg proposes different AI solutions animal advocacy founders could work on. A new “AI Training Institute” could create and administer an in-depth program to train advocacy organizations to utilize existing AI tools effectively to streamline their processes, improve their research and communications, and increase their overall  impact. 

ProVeg also envisions a new program or organization with the purpose of encouraging AI makers and thought leaders to consider animals as they develop future AI tools. This may involve directly appealing to AI makers, writing whitepapers detailing how to incorporate animal ethics into AI tools, or providing resources to help tune AI models to consider animals.

Leveraging a global community and complementary services

“AI technology is accelerating at a speed that demands for us as a movement to focus on finding solutions that help animals, by incubating and supporting ideas from the global community”, says David van Beveren, founder and president at Vegan Hacktivists. “Currently, we’re seeing a real gap in both new and novel AI-based ideas and the organizations available to support them.”

ProVeg and Vegan Hacktivists will work closely together in the application and selection process at Kickstarting for Good. Selected applicants will participate in a 10-week expert-led program with a bespoke curriculum, expert mentoring, and exclusive networking opportunities. Participants will team up with like-minded co-founders, spend two intensive weeks in Berlin, and receive a grant of up to $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs. The program culminates in a Pitch Day at the end of the program in Berlin.

The three partners will provide complementary services to the founders of new AI organizations. ProVeg offers guidance from experienced founders, mentors, and researchers. The team at Kickstarting for Good will support in validating ideas, finding co-founders, setting up a budget, diving into cost-effectiveness, and developing a theory of change. Fundraising training will be another focus area throughout the program.

Vegan Hacktivists provides web development services for platforms leveraging AI for animal advocacy, advice on projects’ technical feasibility, costs, usability, scope and impact, as well as providing guidance on how to implement these projects successfully. Vegan Hacktivists will also serve as a community link to technical resources such as software developers, product managers, copywriters and marketers. Violet Studios will focus on support in branding, marketing, web design, funding proposals, and strategic planning.

Find out more about Kickstarting for Good and apply at: provegincubator.com/kickstartingforgood

The deadline is 26 May.

ENDS

Footnotes

  1. https://www.volur.ai/articles/jbs-usa-to-implement-volurs-ai-solution-to-maximize-carcass-value-and-ensure-optimal-use-of-each-animal

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, email Vicki Sagar or Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About ProVeg International 

ProVeg International is a food awareness organization with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet.

About Vegan Hacktivists

Vegan Hacktivists is a global community of passionate animal advocates offering our skills in building technology for the animal protection movement through design, development, and data. As capacity builders, we deliver innovative and quality services at no cost to advocates and organizations.


About Violet Studios

Violet Studios are a professional visual design team who helps animal advocates present themselves the way they want to be seen, communicate their messages accurately and effectively, influence their perception and trust, and empower their teams to hone their design skills to maintain their brand. We believe in the power of design to enable advocates to meet their unique mission goals. We support organizations, advocates, and funders impacting animals around the globe.

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