UNDP Joins Consortium to Develop Safe AI for SDGs
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The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has joined a consortium of companies, academics, and NGOs working to ensure that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developed in a safe, ethical and transparent manner.

Through the partnership, UNDP’s Innovation Facility will support the testing and scale-up of AI for the SDGs.

1 August 2018: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has joined a consortium of companies, academics, and NGOs working to ensure that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developed in a safe, ethical and transparent manner. Through the partnership, UNDP’s Innovation Facility will support the testing and scale-up of AI for the SDGs.

The Partnership on AI was founded in 2016 by Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. It has since been joined by Accenture, Intel, The Oxford Internet Institute, eBay, as well as UNICEF and Human Rights Watch. Through the Partnership, UNDP intends to harness data to inform risk, policy and program evaluation, as well as utilize robotics and the Internet of Things to collect information with a view to ‘leaving no one behind.’

UNDP has also featured innovation in its Strategic Plan 2018-2021. Its increasing AI portfolio includes:

  • Drones and remote sensing to improve data collection and inform decisions – in the Maldives for disaster preparedness, and in Uganda to engage refugee and host communities in jointly developing infrastructure;
  • A partnership with IBM to automate UNDP’s Rapid Integrated Assessment, aligning national development plans and sectoral strategies with the SDG targets; and
  • The UN Biodiversity Lab, which, launched with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and powered by MapX, is a spatial data platform to support countries’ conservation efforts and accelerate SDG delivery.

The Partnership on AI aims to advance public understanding of AI, formulate best practices, and serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement on AI and its impact on people and society. [UNDP Press Release]

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