- GS-3: Awareness in the fields of IT
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Responsible Artificial Intelligence
Context: AI can leapfrog us toward eradicating hunger, poverty and disease — opening up new and hitherto unimaginable pathways for climate change mitigation, education and scientific discovery.
Benefits and Potential
- Multi-sectoral applications: Already, AI has helped increase crop yields, raised business productivity, improved access to credit and made cancer detection faster and more precise.
- Boosts Economic Growth: It could contribute more than $15 trillion to the world economy by 2030, adding 14% to global GDP. Google has identified over 2,600 use cases of “AI for good” worldwide.
- Enabler for SGDs: A study published in Nature reviewing the impact of AI on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) finds that AI may act as an enabler on 134 — or 79% — of all SDG targets.
Concerns and Challenges
- Big Carbon Footprint: AI requires massive computational capacity, which means more power-hungry data centres — and a big carbon footprint.
- Loss of low income jobs: Robotics and AI companies are building intelligent machines that perform tasks typically carried out by low-income workers: self-service kiosks to replace cashiers, fruit-picking robots to replace field workers, etc. Many desk jobs will also be edged out by AI, such as accountants, financial traders and middle managers.
- Widens Inequalities: AI could compound digital exclusion. Without clear policies on reskilling workers, the promise of new opportunities will in fact create serious new inequalities.
- Strengthen the Divide between North & South: Investment is likely to shift to countries where AI-related work is already established, widening gaps among and within countries.
- Can reinforce existing prejudices: AI-enhanced recruitment engine, based on existing workforce profiles, taught itself that male candidates were preferable to female. AI facial recognition and surveillance technology discriminating against people of colour and minorities.
- Privacy Concerns: AI also presents serious data privacy concerns. Cambridge Analytica —algorithms and big data were used to alter voting decisions.
- Only a “whole of society” approach to AI governance will enable us to develop broad-based ethical principles, cultures and codes of conduct.
- Given the global reach of AI, such a “whole of society” approach must rest on a “whole of world” approach.
- Need for multi-stakeholder efforts on global cooperation so AI is used in a manner that is “trustworthy, human rights-based, safe and sustainable, and promotes peace”.
- Digital future cannot be optimised for good without multi-stakeholder governance structures that ensure the dividends are fair, inclusive, and just.
Connecting the dots: