While the AI research ecosystem is growing, there is still limited research into how AI can positively transform economies and societies. In light of this, United Nations ESCAP, APRU, and Google partnered in 2018 to fill this void by setting up the AI for Social Good Project and bringing together regional scholars and experts from industry and government.
Events & Publications on the topic:
AI For Social Good, a partnership between APRU, UN ESCAP and Google, released a new report exploring the impact of AI on societies in the Asia-Pacific region. This report is based on realities and experiences from Asia and the Pacific, and provides various perspectives on what AI for social good may look like in this region. More importantly, the report offers suggestions from the research community on how policymakers can encourage, use, and regulate AI for social good.
The report, jointly prepared by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Google, showcases successful models of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for improved public services in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a revolution defined by frontier technological breakthroughs such as AI, robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things amongst others, it will be critical that these technologies work for society and the environment as well as the economy if we are to achieve the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Frontier technologies could have significant positive impact for society and the environment. For example, data suggest that improved application of information and communication technologies to smart grids and transportation will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 4.5 billion tons by 2020. This paper reviews the status of a specific frontier technology, artificial intelligence (AI), in the Asia-Pacific region and discusses the policy implications. The paper points out that a new “frontier technology divide” should be the primary concern for the region.