ITU to hold summit on AI for social good

Eden Estopace
eGov Innovation

Can artificial intelligence (AI) help resolve global challenges such as poverty, hunger, health, education, equality and environmental protection?

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is hosting the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva this June.

The summit, to be held in partnership with UN agencies, including OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNICRI, UNIDO, UNITAR and UN Global Pulse, will evaluate opportunities presented by AI and how it can benefit humanity.

It seeks to convene representatives of government, industry, UN agencies, civil society, and the AI research community to explore the latest developments in AI and their implications for regulation, ethics and security and privacy.

Breakout sessions will invite participants to collaborate and propose strategies for the development of AI applications and systems to promote sustainable living, reduce poverty and deliver citizen-centric public services.

"As the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies, ITU aims to guide AI innovation towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "We are providing a neutral platform for international dialogue to build a common understanding of the capabilities of emerging AI technologies."

Some of the confirmed speakers include Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google; Peter Lee , Corporate Vice President of Microsoft AI and Research at Microsoft; Jing Wang, Senior VP and Head of Research at Baidu; Manuela Veloso, Professor in Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University; and Gary Marcus, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University.

Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE, said that with the acceleration and democratization of AI, the organizers recognize the tremendous opportunity for an emerging generation of problem solvers to tackle global challenges.

“We are seeing teams use AI as an underlying tool across a variety of domains, from creating personalized learning experiences for children with no access to formal education in Tanzania, to empowering consumers to make healthcare decisions with a medical Tricorder device, to guiding advanced and autonomous robotic vehicles to explore the deep sea or to find their way to the lunar surface," he said.


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