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Explained: What is the AI for Good Global Summit 2023?

The UN's AI for Good Global Summit focuses on finding ways to use artificial intelligence to address global problems and map out policies to regulate it

AI for Good Global Summit 2023 will take place this week on 6 and 7 July,
AI for Good Global Summit 2023 will take place this week on 6 and 7 July, (Pexels)

The United Nations will convene this week for the AI for Good Global Summit 2023, a highly anticipated event that brings together experts from companies such as Microsoft and Amazon and universities and international organisations to explore how to handle artificial intelligence, or AI, and use it to address global challenges.

As a prominent platform for collaboration, the summit focuses on the development and deployment of AI technologies that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote the concept of using AI for positive impact.

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Talking about the event, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, head of the International Telecommunication Union, the UN's information and communications technology agency, told AFP that it's an opportunity for the world's leading voices on AI to address governance issues on a global stage.

"Doing nothing is not an option. Humanity is dependent upon it. So we have to engage and try and ensure a responsible future with AI," Bogdan-Martin added.

The participants include Amazon's chief technology officer Werner Vogels and Google DeepMind chief operating officer Lila Ibrahim who will be joined by humanoids such as Ai-Da, the first ultra-realistic robot artist, as well as Ameca, the world's most advanced life-like robot. 

On 6 July, the event will start with a welcome address and a keynote speech by Vogels, who talk about global applications of AI through the lens of UN SDGs relating to climate, hunger and health, according to the official website. 

Some of the key themes this year include how AI can revolutionise healthcare by addressing healthcare disparities and enhancing patient care, how AI can help in mitigating and adapting to climate change and using it to promote a greener future, and how AI can address digital divide to ensure marginalised communities have equitable access.

The summit will also discuss the need for robust governance frameworks to guide the development, deployment, and regulation of AI technologies. It aims to inspire participants to explore innovative AI solutions that can contribute to a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future.

Serial AI entrepreneur Gary Marcus spoke to AFP about the need for better preparation to handle AI. "We're at a critical moment in history when we can either get this right and build the global governance we need, or get it wrong and not succeed and wind up in a bad place where a few companies control the fates of many, many people without sufficient forethought," he said in the report.

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