Three editions of the AI for Good Global Summit have showcased numerous artificial intelligence (AI) projects with promise to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From summit to summit, participants have recognized the significance of the leap from AI promise to global impact, a leap that they plan to take together with the development of an 'AI Commons'.
The 3rd AI for Good Global Summit, held in Geneva from 28 to 31 May 2019, shone a spotlight on AI projects in fields including education, healthcare and wellbeing, social and economic equality, space research, and smart and safe mobility.
Impact on a global scale, agreed summit participants, will require a common enabling infrastructure – 'AI Commons' – comprising shared knowledge, data, resources and problem-solving approaches to stimulate the development and application of 'AI for Good' projects.
The community supporting the AI for Good Global Summit is advancing AI technologies and applications, working to bridge skills gaps between AI developers and adopters, and defining safe and ethical approaches to AI. Their overarching goal is to create the new partnerships required to ensure that high-potential 'AI for Good' projects achieve impact on a global scale.
“AI will have the greatest impact when everyone can access its benefits. On the other hand, every government, company, university, international institution, civil society organization and every single one of us should consider how best to work together to ensure AI serves as a positive force for humanity," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “At the core of this is data. AI and data need to be a shared resource if we are serious about scaling AI for good. The community supporting the summit is creating infrastructure to scale-up their collaboration – to convert the principles underlying the summit into global impact."
“These summits bring together a wide range of innovators, investors, data owners and humanitarian actors," said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “Inclusive dialogue has helped them to clarify their respective roles in ensuring that AI fulfils its potential to act as a force for good, clarity that will continue to increase with the development of the 'AI Commons' – the embodiment of the AI for Good community's commitment to collaboration."
“Creating safe, beneficial and ethical AI starts with collaboration," said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE. “At XPRIZE, we believe AI can be used to address some of the grandest challenges of our time. We are proud to help scale AI for Good, by defining new common knowledge and frameworks that are truly inclusive for all, and know this is a crucial step in advancing solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals."
The 'AI Commons' will provide an open framework for collaboration, a decentralized system to democratize problem solving with AI. AI adopters will connect with AI specialists and data owners to align incentives for innovation and develop AI solutions to precisely defined problems. AI development and application will build on the state of the art, enabling AI solutions to scale with the help of shared datasets, testing and simulation environments, AI models and associated software, and storage and computing resources.
The 'AI Commons' is an initiative supported by ITU, the XPRIZE Foundation, Mila, IEEE Standards Association, Anima, HEC Paris, the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, McGovern Foundation, BOTNAR Foundation, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Enovant Foundation, The Future Society, Ocean Protocol, Inspired Minds, Camera Culture at MIT, Element AI, District 3, Wadhwani AI, Swissnex Network, Sahara Ventures, Hong Kong's Center for Artificial Intelligence Research, PWC, and Radiant Earth.
Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT) – in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and 37 sister United Nations agencies, the AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for inclusive dialogue on AI. The summit identifies practical applications of AI to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It connects AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers, building collaboration to maximize the impact of 'AI for Good'.
The 3rd AI for Good Global Summit was kindly supported by Platinum Sponsor and Strategic Partner, Microsoft; Gold Sponsors, ACM, PWC, the Kay Family Foundation and the Autonomous Driver Alliance; Silver Sponsors, Deloitte and the Zero Abuse Project; and Bronze Sponsor, Live Tiles.
'AI Commons': https://aicommons.com/
Background on artificial intelligence: https://www.itu.int/en/mediacentre/backgrounders/Pages/artificial-intelligence-for-good.aspx