Artificial Intelligence: The Road Ahead in Low and Middle-Income Countries

World Wide Web Foundation, Aug 10, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to this article, "Research by McKinsey has gone as far as describing AI as contributing to a transformation of society 'happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale' of the Industrial Revolution." So how does that impact low and middle income countries? The report looks at employment and growth, the redistribition of wealth, the delivery of public goods and services, and the impact on democracy. As we can imagine, things could go very well or very poorly. So what makes the difference? Data and infrastructure are key, of course, and people will need access to both. But the report also highlights skills and ethics, which to a certain degree fall within the domain of education and learning technology. According to the report, we need to create bridges to lower-income countries, to ensure that their perspectives are represented in the coming debates on ethics and policy, and to maximize the use of AI to promote the public good. I agree.

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