AI for Good blog

Youth and Artificial Intelligence: Designing our Possible Futures

Education | Ethics | Health | Inclusivity

By Erin Kalejs

From imagining possible digital futures to building and designing solutions for today, the Generation Connect conference is ITU’s largest gathering of youth to spur digital innovation. The goal of the conference is to connect, inspire and empower global youth by encouraging their participation as equal partners driving digital change.

To bring youth voices into the discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI), AI for Good is partnering with Fondation Botnar, The Lancet and Financial Times Commission, the AI Future Lab, WEF Global Shapers and others to lead an interactive session with and for youth to ensure the future of AI is an inclusive digital future – for everyone, of all ages.

This live intergenerational dialogue will feature the exciting launch of the Youth and Next Gen Leaders AI Manifesto. This is a global call from youth, and a first crucial action towards imprinting their principles, beliefs, and hopes for a successful future through AI. The manifesto was developed through a workshop at the virtual “Youth and The Future of AI” conference hosted by The AI Future Lab, a community of young leaders, thinkers, and builders in AI founded in 2021. Spanning six continents, the AI Future Lab is a continuously growing community with 122 youth leaders from over 30 cities around the world. The Youth and AI Manifesto covers the most critical AI-related priorities, opportunities, and risks identified by global youth communities.

A key message of ITU’s Generation Connect is the vital role of digital natives in shaping our digital future. ‘Digital natives’ refer to the generation that has grown-up with modern technologies, and are therefore best placed to understand the current needs and challenges, and who will be the next generation of tech developers to build AI for Good.

“Who should decide the future of AI? The answer is straightforward: young people. AI is impacting everyone and youth globally must have an active role in its development by bringing their needs and challenges to the discussion table,” says AnaMaria Meshkurti, member of AI Future Lab, WEF Global Shaper, and Head of Marketing, Communications and Engagement at Fongit.

“Without having youth engagement, the conversation around AI and the technological developments would never be complete. This is why actors such as the AI Future Lab are at the heart of ensuring that this is done.” she explains.

Register for the Generation Connect event on Youth and AI: Designing our Possible Futures:

From imagination to implementation

This interactive session will spotlight youth voices by highlighting short stories from the Governing Health Futures2030 and UNICEF joint initiative on Imagining Health Futures. The Imagining Health Futures storytelling project connected world-class science-fiction authors with groups of adolescents from 20 countries to collaborate on stories together about the future of health in a digital world and how technology can help improve it. This fascinating youth engagement program has been the first of its kind not only as a new and effective way to get young people talking about important issues to them, but also in illuminating those voices to the technology developer community.

Read some of the stories that include: “Wild Weather” by Zoya Patel, a story where tech meets environment through a cyclone that hits Fiji. “From the Corner of His Eye” by Malena Salazar Maciá explores health inequities, digital health frontiers surrounding microchips, nanobots and drones. Lastly, read the story “Buzzing” by Ghada Abdel Aal, which looks at youth led innovation, biomedicine and robots in a world with a changing climate.

Get inspired! Read the stories, be sure to register for the event, and join the conversation online to shape the future of AI: #GenerationConnect #AIforGood #Youth4AI

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