AI for Good blog

Artificial Intelligence at the centre of Davos 2024

Artificial Intelligence | Education | Ethics | Health | Innovation & Creativity | Machine Learning | Robotics for Good

The 2024 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos event marked a significant milestone in the AI for Good movement, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) was top of mind and top of the programme. AI for Good took part in a range of thought-provoking discussions, proposed innovative solutions, and was a leading voice surrounding the future of AI. The ITU AI for Good team participated in several key events organized by the newly formed AI House Davos, which proved a key meeting point for leading thinkers in AI to come together.

The ITU Secretary-General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin participated in the high-level talk, “AI Geopolitical Implications for Business, Government, and Society” at the AI House in Davos on Tuesday 16 January. She joined Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, Amandeep Gill, Under-Secretary-General, UN Tech Envoy and Marie-Laure Salles, Director of The Geneva Graduate Institute, who shared their insights and expertise on this key topic, in front of a highly engaged audience.

The event, “AI & Health Equity – Can We Crack the Code?” held on 17th January, was hosted by EY and Anil Soni, CEO of the WHO Foundation. The session focused on the role of AI in enhancing global health equity. Key figures from industry, public institutions, and academia, including Frederic Werner, Head of AI for Good and Strategic Engagement at ITU alongside Anne Aerts,  Head of the Novartis Foundation, Juan M. Lavista Ferres the Chief Scientist and Lab Director of the Microsoft AI For Good Research Lab , and representatives from the ICRC, ILO, and Bayer, discussed AI’s potential in healthcare – from mobile health and telemedicine to epidemic predictions and personalized medicine.

The event also highlighted the Global Initiative on AI for Health, a joint effort with ITU, WHO and WIPO, focused on leveraging artificial intelligence to address global health challenges. This initiative includes an open-source platform, which facilitates the sharing of code and resources, aiming to foster innovation and collaboration in healthcare technology.

The following day, “Harmony in Coexistence: Navigating the Future of Human-AI Partnership” was an open panel discussion. Guillem Martínez Roura, our AI and Robotics Programme Officer, joined leading AI experts from ETH Zurich and Stanford in a conversation on how AI can augment rather than replace human capabilities. The session underscored the different ways AI can support us in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring nobody is left behind in the AI race.

Our final event featured a keynote from Frederic Werner, Head of AI for Good and Strategic Engagement at ITU, on “AI for Good Uses Cases.” The talk hosted Sean Murphy from ImpactScope, Diana Rose from InsigAI, Michele Soavi of ImpactScope and Henning Diedrich of Lexon. This session highlighted cutting-edge AI use cases for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on the use of AI in identifying greenwashing, the importance of inclusive datasets for AI, and the application of blockchain technology for explainability in AI decision-making.

In addition to high level talks, Davos is the key meeting place for top thinkers to come together on the sidelines. AI for Good held meetings with some of the key contributors of the upcoming AI for Good Global Summit 2024. In a meeting with Nick Thompson, the CEO of The Atlantic, he confirmed keynote interviews with Geoffrey Hinton, renowned computer scientist known colloquially as “the Godfather of AI” and Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. He will give a talk himself in AI and media at the AI for Good Global Summit 2024. Long time supporter of AI for Good, Stuart Russell, will curate 2 days of sessions in AI safety and Risk at the summit with Amir Banifatemi.

In summary, the Davos 2024 event painted an optimistic picture of AI’s potential to create a more equitable and sustainable world. The discussions and initiatives presented at the newly formed AI House Davos provided a great starting point for AI discussions that will extend throughout the year. They not only showcased the power of AI but also highlighted the importance of collaboration and ethical considerations in leveraging this technology for good. AI’s journey towards ‘Good’ is gaining speed, we are excited to be a leading voice in this transformative movement.

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