A Diverse (AI) World: How to Make Sure That the Digital World Reflects the Richness and Diversity of Our World

A Diverse (AI) World: How to Make Sure That the Digital World Reflects the Richness and Diversity of Our World

Virginie Martins de Nobrega
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3637-0.ch008
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


This chapter presents a systemic analysis of the threats and opportunities of artificial intelligence and frontier technologies for purpose-driven applications towards the Sustainable Development Goals reviewing the human rights, ethical, social, sociological, and environmental concerns with the view of providing a comprehensive overview of the stakes of today's debate especially for women, minorities, the most vulnerable, and the invisible, while providing a policy framework to make sure that no one is left behind and that democracy is not replaced by technocracy. This chapter is grounded on the assumptions that technology is a means to an end and that true innovation is progress for all, whether for individuals, beneficiaries, peoples, cultures, institutions, states, and the planet.
Chapter Preview


Artificial Intelligence is a term that has yet to receive an unanimously accepted definition, at least a legal definition. Therefore, for the purpose of this chapter, the term will embrace the 2017 ITU The AI for Good Global Summit Report’s definition describing it as a set of associated technologies and techniques that can be used to complement traditional approaches, human intelligence and analytics and/or other techniques.

Artificial intelligence and frontier technologies are not new in the field of research, but most certainly are experiencing one of its biggest springs with the amplification of the datafication of the private and public sector, at international and national level, to the point that data is considered as

the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability [because] without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time; designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible’ (UN Secretary-General's Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, 2014).

When it comes to data, it is often said that over 90 percent of the data was created over the past two years reaching 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 – which is almost impossible to conceptualize for the human brain and non-specialists. It is also reported that the GAFAM attract 80% of this flow of data. And surprisingly, despite the trend of an ever-increasing amount of data to train and feed machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), predictive analytics (PA) and computing vision (CV), we are currently analyzing, therefore really using, only 1% of those.

We might not completely grasp all the implications of artificial intelligence and frontier technologies yet, but those new technologies are profoundly impacting our world. It reshapes geopolitics (new types of conflicts, digital divide between the North and the South, power sharing between nations…). It influences economies (future of work, digital exclusion, investments…). It questions democracies and their institutions (human rights, mis- and disinformation, new forms of political crises, e-governments…). It transforms the public sector and its policies. It increases the influence of private companies. It affects our lives (freedoms, democratic engagement and participation, e-public services, habitat, environment…), it changes our interactions, and it remodels our social contract.

That’s how profoundly disruptive artificial intelligence is on our societies. If harnessed and purpose-driven, those technologies can lead to progress for all. If unchallenged and unregulated, they can become an end in themselves, instead of being a mean to an end. To date, this end is still to be democratically defined, possibly redefined at that moment in time, to support our political and societal core principles, while integrating diversity in all its forms and deliberately supporting inclusivity.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: