Leveraging AI for Good – A Global Opportunity for Policy-Makers

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often considered the key technology of the 21st century. A human-centered approach to AI will be …

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often considered the key technology of the 21st century. A human-centered approach to AI will be crucial to unleash its great potential to achieve beneficial outcomes for both people and planet. Policy-makers around the world have recognized this and set in motion a number of significant global initiatives this year. While the “AI race” is on between the world’s economic powers and many countries have launched their own industrial strategies, international collaboration based on shared principles is needed to provide an enabling environment for human-centered AI that promotes innovation and investment.

Embracing a Human-Centered Approach to AI

AI is already adding value to our daily lives and economies, helping with specialized tasks such as speech recognition, image classification, fault and fraud detection and machine translation. According to one study, the technology added $2 trillion to global GDP last year and is expected to contribute $15.7 trillion by 2030, “making it the biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast changing economy”. High potential use-cases exist for virtually every industry sector, from healthcare (diagnostic support) to automotive (autonomous fleets for ride sharing) to financial services (personalized financial planning). Besides, AI brings new opportunities to reduce inequality. For example, AI can provide extremely valuable support tools for people with disabilities: Using brain-machine interfaces, paralyzed people can interact with their environment through a computer. Also, research commissioned by Dell Technologies suggests that in 2030 human and machine partnerships will create more equitable workplaces by evaluating candidates based on their capabilities, rather than gender, age or class. People on the autism spectrum often bring required abilities for AI jobs, which is why several companies, including Dell Technologies, have set up respective hiring programs.

Taking Action to Overcome Societal Challenges

However, a disruptive technology like artificial intelligence also creates new societal challenges that need to be addressed, including the impact on labor markets, privacy protection, data security and new ethical questions posed by human-machine relationships. Decisive action by policy-makers is needed to turn those challenges into opportunities. For example, adapting education systems and curricula will be key both in driving AI adoption and in combating inequality. And high standards of transparency, data protection and cybersecurity will foster public trust and confidence in AI technologies that are necessary to realize their potential.

Leaders of the Group of 7 (G7), the most important western economies, came together in France to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time. Also on the agenda: fighting inequality through digital development and artificial intelligence (AI). As a concrete result from the meeting, leaders endorsed the creation of an International Group of Experts on Artificial Intelligence (G2IA), which will develop guidelines for the ethical development and use of artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity. The partnership was developed in collaboration with major non-G7 democracies and the OECD, increasing its global relevance. This marks yet another significant global policy development on AI following the recent agreement on AI Principles by the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies at the G20 Summit in Japan. The G20 underlined their commitment to a human-centered approach to AI. The principles were largely based on the OECD Recommendation on AI adopted earlier this year. While those principles are not legally-binding, they do carry some political weight and will represent important reference points for regional and national policy discussions in the coming years.

Leveraging AI for Good

We at Dell Technologies believe that AI – like all technologies- should be at the service of human progress and well-being and we look forward to help shaping government policies around the globe in that direction. Today the opportunities to have a positive impact are greater than ever, as new technologies such as AI are rapidly developing thanks to ever more sophisticated algorithmic systems, combined with increasing availability of data and processing power. Governments worldwide – in close dialogue with stakeholders – must continue working together to leverage AI for Good.