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Harnessing AI To Reset The Future: How To Channel AI For Social Good?


As the Fourth Industrial Revolution evolves, frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping our economies, societies and the environment. AI is opening up economic opportunities with companies large and small empowered to grow their businesses. From a social perspective, AI provides a host of benefits. Machine learning algorithms power cost-effective healthcare diagnostics for rural communities who previously had no access to doctors. AI allows teachers to spend more time on actually teaching students while automating their administrative functions. And from an environmental perspective, AI-powered intelligent transport systems are making our cities smarter and greener.


However, the wave of optimism surrounding the transformative potential of AI has been tempered by increasing concerns about potential negative impacts including an evolving digital divide, ethical concerns, and the future of work.


So, what should we do to harness AI for social good?


Connectivity is key

Digital connectivity is the precursor for AI development. However, half of Asia’s four billion plus people still do not have access to the internet. If this issue is not addressed, there is a risk of a new AI divide being built on top of the already existing digital divide. Ensuring inclusivity is essential for equitable future growth. In this respect, last mile internet connectivity should be a policy priority for governments and the private sector alike.


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