What is Techaide’s mission and how did it get started?

04 juillet 2023


Launched with the support and values of OSMO, Techaide is a grassroots collective to inspire the Montreal tech ecosystem to get together to give back to our local community.

Techaide unites people from diverse backgrounds and life stories, while having a common goal to raise funds, mobilize resources and encourage innovative approaches to help eradicate social inequalities. We believe everyone living in Greater Montreal should have the opportunity to thrive.

All funds raised by Techaide are invested across Centraide of Greater Montreal’s extensive network of agencies that are on the frontlines of combating social issues.

It started with Alan MacIntosh and Alain Auclair, who were both involved in different charity boards. They saw firsthand the missing connection between the tech and social worlds. Their wish? Seeing thriving tech entrepreneurs work side by side with community agency leaders to make sure every Montrealer gets their chance to prosper.


Why only fund Centraide?

Techaide supports Centraide exlusively for several reasons. Centraide’s mission of combatting poverty and social exclusion is one that Techaide firmly believes in. Here are some eye-opening statistics provided by Centraide of Greater Montreal:

  • Greater Montreal is home to more than half of all people who live in poverty in Quebec, totalling 615,000 people.
  • Poverty rates are higher for children, single-parent families, single individuals, recent immigrants, members of visible minorities, and a growing number of workers.
  • Poverty can be persistent or temporary, brought on by difficult situations (job loss, family upheaval, mental health issues, difficult immigration experiences, etc.) or other factors (age, disability, ethnocultural background, etc.).
  • Poverty has a significant impact on several aspects of life, including academic success, housing conditions, food security, physical and mental health, and life expectancy.

In addition, our values are aligned with Centraide and their team. Our collaboration over the past years has been strong and growing.


How do you feel the tech world can support philanthropy?

Cybernétique et enjeux moraux

The tech world can support philanthropy in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Donating money and resources. Tech companies can donate money to charities and nonprofits, or they can donate their products and services to help those in need.
  • Providing pro bono services. Tech companies can provide pro bono services to charities and nonprofits, such as website design, software development, or marketing. This can help charities and nonprofits save money and focus on their mission.
  • Using technology to solve social problems. Tech companies can use their technology to solve social problems, such as poverty, hunger, and disease.
  • Advocating for social change. Tech companies can use their voice to advocate for social change.

The tech world has a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. By using their money, resources, technology, and voice, tech companies can help to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.


Tell us more about Techaide’s AI networking event.

TechAide hosted another edition of its full-day research conference on artificial intelligence on April 14th, 2023, in collaboration with Mila. Mila is a community that boasts the largest concentration of deep learning academic researchers globally. The institute is recognized for its expertise and significant contributions in areas such as modeling language, machine translation, object recognition and generative models.

The event brought together numerous researchers, professors from Mila, and an elite group of AI researchers who presented their current projects and shared their field expertise. World class AI experts Samy Bengio and Dumitru Erhan were happy to be welcomed as keynote speakers. In addition to being exposed to the most recent research in AI, attendees contributed to a great cause. Indeed, all proceeds from the conference went towards the TechAide initiative to give back to Centraide, in support of their fight against poverty and social exclusion, raising over $100K for the cause.

This event also helps highlight the need for the technology industry to give back to the broader community. Watch this short video from the leader of the AI conference, Hugo Larochelle, as he shares the motivation behind the conference.

What are your thoughts on using AI to advance philanthropic causes?

Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize philanthropy by making it more efficient, effective, and impactful. Here are a few examples of how AI is already being used to advance philanthropic causes:

  • AI-powered fundraising platforms are making it easier for donors to give to charity. These platforms use AI to match donors with causes that align with their interests, and they also use AI to personalize fundraising appeals.
  • AI-powered volunteer matching platforms are making it easier for people to find volunteer opportunities that match their skills and interests. These platforms use AI to match volunteers with organizations that need their help, and they also use AI to provide training and support to volunteers.
  • AI-powered impact measurement tools are helping charities track the impact of their programs. These tools use AI to collect data on the outcomes of charitable programs, and they also use AI to analyze this data to identify what is working and what is not.
  • As AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative ways for AI to be used to advance philanthropic causes.

For example, AI could be used to:

  • Identify people who are most in need of help.
  • Develop new and more effective interventions to address social problems.
  • Personalize philanthropic services to meet the needs of individual donors and volunteers.
  • Track the impact of philanthropic programs in real time.

The use of AI in philanthropy has the potential to make a real difference in the world.

Ultimately, Techaide seeks to empower Montreal’s tech community to become a force for good, to give back to those in need, to combat social exclusion & poverty, and to foster a culture of generosity spanning generations.

Cet article fait partie de l’édition spéciale de juillet 2023: Philanthropie et intelligence artificielle. Vous pouvez trouver plus d’informations ici.

Philanthropie et Intelligence artificielle