Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Future Of SDGs

Sonny Aragba-Akpore
Sonny Aragba-Akpore

Can artificial intelligence (AI) truly reshape the trajectory of global economies? How much impact can it have when its knowledge and acceptance are still elusive? These are important questions that remain unanswered.

Currently, there are nearly 15,000 AI membership platforms globally. However, the level of education provided by these platforms to society is questionable. We need more clarity.

With less than a decade remaining to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) believes that the deployment of AI and robotics technologies could work wonders.

Last week, the ITU stated in a document that “AI holds great promise to advance many of the sustainable development goals and targets.” This sentiment will be the focus of the upcoming “AI for Good” summit, scheduled for next week. It is more than just a movement; it is presented as a year-round digital platform where AI innovators and problem owners can learn, build, and connect to identify practical AI solutions for advancing the UN’s SDGs.

ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin emphasised, “It’s in our collective interest that we can shape AI faster than it is shaping us. This summit, as the UN’s primary platform for AI, will bring together leading voices representing a diversity of interests to ensure that AI can be a powerful catalyst for progress in our race to achieve the SDGs”.

The upcoming AI for Good Global Summit 2023, taking place from July 6-7 in Geneva, Switzerland, will be a gathering of over 2,500 participants and online engagement from the 15,000 members of the AI for Good Neural Network, making it the largest and most inclusive event focused on AI solutions and matchmaking.

Hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with 40 partner UN agencies, the two-day summit will showcase how new technologies can support the UN’s SDGs, especially in combating the climate crisis and enhancing humanitarian response.

Key themes at the AI for Good Global Summit will include generative AI and human-machine collaboration. The event will also feature the unveiling of tools that are beginning to revolutionise our perception of creativity and productivity.

The summit will be an unprecedented gathering of eight humanoid social robots and over 50 specialised robots, all brought together for the first time. These robots will showcase their capabilities, such as firefighting, aid delivery, healthcare provision and sustainable farming.

AI for Good is the place where humans and robots meet. Among the featured robots are Ameca, the world’s most advanced lifelike robot (engineered arts); Nadine, one of the most realistic humanoid social robots (University of Geneva); Sophia, the first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (Hanson Robotics); Geminoid, an ultra-realistic humanoid robot from Japan (Hiroshi Ishiguro); 4NE-1, one of the world’s most advanced cognitive humanoid robots designed for collaboration with humans (Neura Robotics); Ai-Da Robot, the first ultra-realistic robot artist (Aidan Meller); Grace, the world’s most advanced humanoid healthcare robot (SingularityNET); and Desdemona, the rockstar robot of the Jam Galaxy Band.

The event will also host the final round of the AI for Good Innovation Factory, where startups from around the world will pitch their AI solutions to advance the SDGs.

In July 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics innovators, along with their cutting-edge creations, will join humanitarian leaders in Geneva, Switzerland for the latest edition of the global summit focused on advancing AI for sustainable development.

Crucial discussions on the need for safe and responsible AI and the development of global AI governance frameworks will take place in two high-level roundtables. These roundtables will include policymakers, diplomats, industry executives, academics and UN partners.

Established in 2017, the AI for Good Global Summit returns to Geneva in person for the first time since 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AI for Good transformed into a year-round online engagement platform that brought together participants from 183 countries. This year’s summit combines the best of both physical and virtual worlds, aiming to welcome over 3,000 participants in Geneva and engage over 20,000 members of the AI for Good Neural Network online.

The event will prioritise networking to foster new projects, calls to action, and partnerships. The dynamic show floor of AI for Good will also feature AI-inspired performances and artwork.

ITU, the UN specialised agency for information and communication technologies, is hosting AI for Good in collaboration with 40 partner UN agencies. The summit is co-convened by the government of Switzerland.

ITU’s global membership consists of 193 Member States and over 900 companies, universities and international and regional organisations. At the ITU’s governing Plenipotentiary Conference in 2022, member states adopted a resolution supporting the agency’s work across the UN system to harness the benefits of AI for sustainable development.

The two-day AI for Good Global Summit at The International Conference Centre Geneva will be preceded by nine machine learning workshops on July 5, led by experts from the AI for Good Discovery series.

Experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised the field of information technology, reshaping the way we live. AI algorithms have garnered significant attention from researchers and have successfully solved engineering problems. However, for large and complex problems, AI algorithms can consume a substantial amount of computation time due to the stochastic nature of search approaches. Thus, there is a growing need to develop efficient algorithms that can find solutions under limited resources, time, and real-world applications’ financial constraints.

Sonny Aragba-Akpore
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