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As AI evolves, here are the potential approaches to solve pressing challenges

Embracing these principles can lead to a world where technology serves as a force for positive change

As AI evolves, here are the potential approaches to solve pressing challenges
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

In a rapidly evolving world where technology is becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives, the role of AI and transformative tech in addressing global challenges cannot be overstated.

AI has already proven its potential to tackle some of the most pressing issues, including climate change, healthcare inequity, and world hunger, says Diya Wynn, Sr. Practice Manager of Responsible AI at Amazon Web Services. “As AI evolves, we’ll see even more use cases to address urgent issues.”

However, with great power comes great responsibility. As AI technology advances, it’s essential to ensure that these innovations align with cultural and societal values, especially globally. This is where inclusive and responsible AI comes into play. 

While there are many approaches to look at the potential challenges AI’s proliferation will ensue, experts at Fast Company Middle East’s World Changing Ideas Summit will address how AI can be used for the greater good of humanity. 

According to Wynn, responsible AI involves a proactive and intentional approach to minimize risk and unintended impact while maximizing benefits.

Inclusive and responsible AI is the answer to this challenge. “It requires intentional and proactive steps that establish a culture of responsibility with a people-centered focus and approach to minimize risk and unintended impact and maximize benefit. At AWS, our North Star is a technological advancement that respects the rule of law, human rights, and dignity. Our shared values are inclusiveness, privacy, and fairness. They are the foundation of our approach to responsible AI throughout the AI and machine learning lifecycle.”

Meanwhile, John C Havens, the author of Heartificial Intelligence and Hacking Happiness and the Executive Director of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, emphasizes the importance of prioritizing ecological flourishing and human well-being from the outset of AI system design.

“Building an AI product and then figuring out its societal harms without using metrics at the outset of design to determine how to avoid these issues is irresponsible.”

Havens, who will be speaking at the World Changing Ideas Summit, suggests using scenario planning, such as the “backcasting” technique, to envision a future world and then design AI technologies to achieve that vision. 

“What is the future of technology in shaping how we interact and work in the next decade? Where society continues to value exponential productivity, competition, and speed in isolation, technology will amplify our road to ruin. Where we prioritize ecological flourishing and human well-being at the outset of policy and design, technology will usher in a new age of partnership and enlightenment, leading to multiple generations of joy and innovation,” adds Havens.

Meanwhile, the intersection of AI and transformative tech presents a unique opportunity. 

“AI, blockchain, and transformative tech will take the lead, offering innovative solutions for both individuals and businesses,” says Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-Founder of Astra Tech and CEO of Botim. By leveraging AI and fintech capabilities, the platform addresses the needs of underbanked populations and empowers the underserved, such as blue-collar workers. 

“We conducted extensive research in the UAE, where we discovered that workers would spend an entire month’s salary over 12 months on international money transfers, factoring in transportation costs, transfer fees, and the significant time spent waiting in long queues. Within these communities, the potential of fintech solutions shines brightest, unlocking opportunities and transforming lives on an unprecedented scale,” adds Abu Sheikh. 

In addition to these applications, Astra Tech hosts workshops, collaborates with industry experts, and creates training programs. 

As we stand on the cusp of a future where technology continues to shape our lives, the responsible and inclusive use of AI, a focus on ecological flourishing, and empowerment through transformative tech represent pivotal steps in addressing global challenges and creating a better world for all. 

These perspectives demonstrate that the possibilities for a brighter, more inclusive future are within our reach through responsible tech innovation.

The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit will be held on November 2, 2023. Click here to register.

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