We used AI to study the world’s toilets. This is what we found – weforum.org

Sure, I could have written about something glitzy and glamorous like CES. In fact, I can’t imagine anything less interesting than “toilet knowledge,” but how can you pass-up clicking on that headline.

I’ll spare you the bathroom related double-entendres, because the article is insightful and thought provoking. It caught my attention because it’s a unique execution of: AI, image recognition, public data and social awareness.

Plus, I feel like I’ve been missing out…who knew there was a “World Toilet Day!”

Here are just a few key take-aways:

  • With reams of public data and open-source artificial intelligence at our fingertips, the challenge for businesses does not lie in access to data, but in how to use data creatively to stay competitive, innovative and philanthropic.
  • Last summer, Alto Analytics, took on the challenge to help understand the global water crisis in support of World Toilet Day
  • Alto’s analysts modelled an AI-powered image recognition analysis of toilets, for an automated and faster way to find a more exact number of people impacted by unsafe sanitation conditions on a global scale.
  • Toilets of families with an income of less than $122.50 per month were not recognized by the AI, representing 30.3% of the world’s total population, 2.22 billion people.
  • Toilets of families with an income of less than $245 had a 50% chance of being recognized. These families represent 47.8% of the world’s population, 3.42 billion people.
  • What makes Alto’s insights powerful is that they can be updated in real-time, as new photos are constantly uploaded


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