How can Artificial Intelligence help us achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Alongside the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) summit in Paris, the initiative’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) Working Group is hosting an event focusing on the role of AI in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers many real and tangible benefits for sustainable development. Nevertheless, maintaining its beneficial potential will require effective leadership within a clear framework. Today’s GPAI side event looks at AI from a number of complementary perspectives essential for ensuring fairness, progress and sustainability. 

Promoting good practices 

It is the goal of the international community to ensure that Artificial Intelligence is developed in strict accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN. The session will explore specific proposals around five key initiatives. 

  • A commitment to genuine international cooperation that fully addresses the priorities and needs of the Global South
  • Effective supervision and assessment as a result of improved coordination between developments in Artificial Intelligence and the SDGs. This priority raises issues around the tools and indicators required to report on the actual contribution made by AI in achieving the SDGs
  • Practical measures to ensure that the priorities and needs of marginalised communities are fully integrated into AI systems
  • The systematic application of gender policies and practices that address gender inequality at every level of AI ecosystems
  • The introduction of accountability mechanisms that ensure the implementation of these policies and practices, that monitor, assess and report on the issues involved

The event will take a cross-disciplinary approach to discussing and addressing these five core priorities, which are closely linked to the achievement of all SDGs. This approach was adopted to ensure that the work done is relevant to all sectors, from alleviating poverty to ensuring quality education, providing decent work and reducing inequalities. Experts and practitioners from a broad range of backgrounds and countries will share their experiences and expertise.

Working towards responsible and inclusive AI

The key goal of the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Working Group is to contribute to the development and use of AI systems that align with the SDGs. This approach is fully consistent with the ‘Principles for Responsible Management of Trustworthy AI’ adopted by the OECD in 2019. 

The Working Group is focused on contributing to the responsible rollout of AI through practical recommendations and guidelines. Held alongside the GPAI Summit, this event may lead to follow-up initiatives next year.

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