Artificial intelligence for broader socio-economic gain.

Author:Sandhu, Amna S.

Byline: Amna S. Sandhu

Recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) under Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving major paradigm shifts across all sectors and countries. This technology has seeped into our everyday lives, transforming how we live, work and entertain ourselves. This has led to a focus on the US and China, being key players, but not the only ones, in the AI race.

This is because of the first comer advantage of AI technology. The premier for this technology will guide the rest of the narrative. There is no doubt on the power and generational impact of AI that will affect not only national economies but society on the whole. A report by PWC estimates a global increase of $16 trillion in GDP by 2030 in lieu of AI technology.

In addition to the financial and societal benefits, AI raises significant questions for society, economy and the government setups. Is there an opportunity for international collaboration in fast developing technologies like AI to achieve global benefits? Hence, a dire need for formal national AI frameworks and international standards for controversial aspects of AI such as data and algorithmic bias, transparency and ethical use for decision-making to steer this shift where it benefits the most.

AI has the potential to improve lives of millions given the use is inclusive and ethical. However, this requires proper planning and oversight by policy makers. It can either promise to solve or worsen complex and pressing problems like inequality and gender bias.

The AI strategy needs to focus on both the private sector led economic growth and the added benefit of social inclusion. This is encouraging policy makers and private sector to take crucial steps to win the digital race. The policy should attempt to minimize risks and maximise benefits for the whole society. Therefore, to address different needs and opportunities, we need to understand what is AI and its types.

AI is broadly used as a blanket term. A widely accepted definition by Russell and Peter, at its root define AI as 'the ability to replicate or imitate human thought' and more recently as 'using human reasoning as a model to solve problems.' However, previously terms like manufacturing were used for the production of everything from cars to clothes to processed foods. Thus, it is more appropriate and useful to define AI through its intended purpose.

At present, there are at least 8 general types of intent AI tech is used for:


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