Press Release

CHM Announces Inaugural Tech for Humanity Prize Winners

Mountain View, CA  |  April 28, 2021

CHM names Sal Kahn the first Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Luminary and awards $100,000 to two changemakers.

The Computer History Museum (CHM) announced today the inaugural Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize winners. The Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize fosters a global community committed to tech for good, advancing work for social impact, highlighting role models, and inspiring the next generation of innovators.

CHM is pleased to honor the Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Luminary:

Sal Khan, for a lifetime of achievement and his extraordinary impact expanding access to learning worldwide. Providing free online education to anyone, Khan Academy has reached more than 120 million registered users in 190 countries.

“The Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize program is part of CHM’s expanding work in advancing tech in service to humanity,” said Museum CEO Dan’l Lewin. “We decode technology for everyone, not only telling stories about the pioneers of our computing past, but also decoding our ever-evolving digital world with the stories of innovators creating new tech solutions today.”

CHM proudly awards $100,000 to two “Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Changemakers” for their dedication to tech for good, their future promise, and the potential impact of their proposed projects: 

Mercy Nyamewaa Asiedu, Bioengineer and Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. Her project will develop a data-driven, personalized mobile health platform for chronic disease management in sub-Saharan Africa, and improve access to low-cost, artificial intelligence-based cervical cancer diagnostic tools globally.

Michael Bernstein, Stanford Computer Science Professor. His project aims to reduce bias in technology by developing a jury-based approach to artificial intelligence and machine learning that considers diverse perspectives. It includes a public-awareness website and open-source models for companies.

“The Committee selected the honorees and finalists from a pool of 80 extraordinary candidates, all of whom are pursuing audacious innovations focused on meeting urgent challenges,” said Paul Saffo, futurist and the selection committee chair. “Three or ten or even a hundred innovators alone can't secure humanity's future. By drawing attention to the work of these changemakers, CHM’s McGovern Prize is a powerful innovation multiplier, inspiring countless others to pursue visionary projects in the service of humankind.”

Changemaker finalists will join CHM’s growing global community dedicated to tech for good.

The awards honor the legacy of visionary business leader and technology publisher Patrick J. McGovern (1937-2014), the founder of global media company IDG, who was a founding board member of CHM’s precursor, The Computer Museum. “We are thrilled to honor the remarkable legacy of Patrick J. McGovern with these outstanding Tech for Humanity prizewinners,” said Patrick McGovern, chair of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, which supports the prize. “Their innovation, leadership, and accomplishments serve as an inspiration for what is possible when we apply technology for the good of humanity.”

About CHM 

The Computer History Museum (CHM) explores the computing past, digital present, and future impact of technology on humanity. Through research, events, and an extensive collection of computing artifacts and oral histories, CHM is committed to shaping a better world by decoding technology for everyone.

About the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation 

A global, 21st century philanthropy, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is committed to bridging the frontiers of artificial intelligence, data science, and social impact. The Foundation invests in the exploration, enhancement, and development of AI and data science for good.

Press contact: Carina Sweet, csweet@computerhistory.org, 650.810.1059 

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