In recent years there has been significant progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) technology that has been made possible by tremendous advances in other fields including big data, machine learning, computing power, storage capacity, and cloud computing. A number of applications of AI is already being tested and deployed in both the private and public sectors in areas as diverse as computer science, finance, business analytics, customer service, education, transportation, and healthcare.
It has been suggested that AI may also play an important role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To make this possibility a reality, the international community would need to define a common agenda that sets priorities on investment in AI both to scale up existing solutions and develop new ones. Collectively, there needs to be a better understanding of how to capitalize on the potential advantages of this technology, how AI might affect social-economic growth and development, and how well impact could be measured.
The different contexts in developed and developing countries needs to be taken into account. The impact of AI will not be felt everywhere and at the same time. The pace and degree of adoption of AI can depend on a number of factors such as the degree of digitization, competitive dynamics, transition costs, social acceptance, and regulatory frameworks. Some countries and sectors may therefore be in a more favorable position than others to adopt and leverage AI technologies, raising the possibility that some players and countries may reap benefits of AI at the expense of others.
This session aims to discuss the economic impact of AI, showcase where the potential lies, and home in on specific examples of sectors in detail. The discussion will also focus on how AI will impact on the progress toward the 17 SDGs, and help attain them. The session will also aim to generate a discussion on how businesses and policy makers can manage the risks and challenges associated with the economic impact of AI in relation to its impact on both economic growth and meeting the SDGs.
The discussion is part of ITU’s ongoing research on Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence.