Impact of AI: Sustainable Development Goals
From healthcare to the manufacturing industry, artificial intelligence is changing our world very rapidly. AI has been around us since the 1950s but with the abundance of data from connected devices and recent improvements in processing power, it led to AI-driven innovations in every sector. More than half of the 340,000 AI-related patents have been filed in the past five years.
So before getting started let us start covering what is AI and how can AI be dangerous and the impact of AI towards sustainable development goals?
What is AI?
It is a division of computer science that deals with the simulation of human intelligence processed by computer systems. These processes include the acquisition of information and rules for using the information to reach an approximate or definite conclusion.
From Siri to self-driving automobiles, AI is progressing rapidly. While most people portray AI as robots with human-like characteristics but it can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to autonomous weapons.
We are focusing on moving to a larger window that targets general AI where AI will outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task.
How can AI be dangerous?
Most researchers agree that a super-intelligent AI will unlikely manifest human emotions. Whenever considering how AI might become a risk, experts think of most likely two scenarios:
1. The AI can be programmed to do something devastating– autonomous weapons are intelligent systems that are programmed to kill. In the wrong hands, these weapons could easily cause mass casualties. Moreover, an AI arms race could inadvertently lead to an AI war that results in mass casualties.
2. The AI is programmed to do benefits but it develops a destructive method for achieving its goals– It can happen when we fail to fully align the AI goals with hours, which is strikingly difficult. If a super system is tasked with a geoengineering project, it might kill or modify our ecosystem as a side-effect and view human attempts to stop it as a threat to be met.
Artificial Intelligence for Good Global Summit
At the third conference AI global summit, leaders and innovators from around the world met to discuss the rapid change and progress, AI is bringing to various segments and how to harness AI for positive progress. AI could massively exacerbate the inequities we see in the world if we don’t keep the user and the people at the center. The 3rd AI Global summit was divided into breakthrough tracks so attendees could dive deep, co-create potential project ideas to solve AI challenges and address these problems.
The breakthrough tracks are as listed:
- AI education
- Good health and well-being
- Human dignity and inclusive societies
- Scaling AI for good
- AI for space
Four predominant themes emerged throughout the keynotes and these breakthrough tracks.
1. Design for inclusivity and fighting bias– There stands a continued need for a multi-angled approach to address and develop solutions that eliminate increasing biases and promote an event of diversity and increasing inclusivity. This turns out to be of major importance as it is non-negotiables in the design of AI as we cannot neglect it if we are working for sustainable development goals to be achieved.
TIMNIT GEBRU of Google known as a computer scientist that baked into algorithms is biases, stereotypes, and assumptions about who we are and our behavior. Her work in facial recognition proved that AI can have major biases and perpetuate bad situations.
We want to create more opportunities and transform our future world, we have to dismantle our existing systems and not use these principles to inform AI or any super intelligent system.
2. Collective responsibility- Building on the first theme, it’s our collective responsibility in governance, design, and implementation of AI. It is our responsibility that enables us to consider the possible ramifications of use and bias, diversity and inclusivity. It is our collective ethical and societal responsibility to not ignore the privacy of data and security considerations as they are countless.
We must embrace key principles of trust, accountability and enhancement core to our AI work. The change will never happen this slowly, it is decentralized approaches from stakeholders and dissemination of principles that will help us make positive progress.
3. Growing opportunities– There are an endless number of ways by which we could harness the power of AI. Each speaker in the summit shared their views about it, for instance, uses in website usage to identify potential cases of learners at risk for suicide. Artificial intelligence offers the ability to transcend and amplify the current capacity of capital and labor to propel economic growth. Jobs in every sector requiring AI skills are growing. So, AI provides the jobs of the future.
4. Accelerate AI education/ awareness and learning enhanced with AI – I find that the need is two-fold that is both learning and awareness about AI and learning with AI.
Communities around the world are getting exposure to how AI can help their challenges and local issues. Schools are infusing AI tools for both adults and students to enhance learning. For example, Minecraft will let learners test their AI creations and enable to share them with the world.
My biggest concern is that AI will help us learn, but it won’t replace the need for a strong teacher-student relationship. AI can enhance and can take time to grade, schedule and skill work so that educators have more time to work with deep learning. The free time can be used for more creativity, relationship building and deep work with students.
Artificial intelligence can be a great opportunity to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals. As technological revolutions lead to new imbalances that we must anticipate these imbalances at an early stage.
In order to that, we need to accelerate the awareness and education about AI as it can enhance learning if we are informed about the opportunities it can bring.