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Artificial intelligence must not exacerbate inequality further

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We all agree that artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to drive development and even out global inequalities. Because it can process vast amounts of data rapidly, AI is ensuring more and more people in developing countries have access to microfinance, healthcare and remote-learning opportunities. AI helps make climate change mitigation more efficient, and can help deliver housing at a quarter of the usual costs when combined with 3D printing technology. It is easy to see how it could be a game-changer in the rapidly urbanising developing world.

But AI’s potential to help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and to reduce global poverty is far from being realised. As research published by the International Monetary Fund last year shows, the current trends in AI technologies are more likely to exacerbate global inequalities than to address them.

According to a study published by Price Waterhouse Cooper, in 2017, countries investing in AI technologies could see 14 percent growth in their GDP by 2030. While estimates of this type vary, all agree that these economic returns will be very unevenly distributed.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), around three-quarters of all new digital innovation and patents are produced by just 250........

© Al Jazeera

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