With no more than 10 years to go to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from the United Nations, I wanted to bring light to AI as a problem solver. I hope these 17 examples will give you a better idea of what AI can do to help us reach these goals!
According to a report by Max Tegmark, Anna Felländer, and eight co-authors, 79% of the SDGs could be enabled with AI (Vinuesa, R., Azizpour, H., Leite, I. et al., 2020). With a statement like that, I think the potential is pretty clear! But it won’t be easy. AI raises a lot of questions to be addressed before the path is entirely clear; like biased results if trained on biased data, energy consumption when training AI models, and political polarization with targeted marketing. But if we all spend time and effort on shaping regulations, ethical guidelines, sustainable solutions, and make sure AI solutions are thoughtfully quality checked and implemented - we have a chance to make the world a better place. For everyone.
Here’s what AI can do to help humanity reaching the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 01 / No poverty
With AI, we can learn to predict and prevent extreme climate-related events. To reduce vulnerability and exposure, also reducing poverty.
SDG 02 / Zero hunger
To avoid having more than 820 million people going to bed hungry, we can let AI support the provision of food along the whole chain; from production to transportation to distribution.
SDG 03 / Good health & well-being
AI can act as decision support in healthcare. For instance, we’ve worked with radiologists to find ways of using AI to locate brain tumors. Read about it in AI to target and fight cancer.
SDG 04 / Quality education
To make sure everyone can access education is tricky for AI alone to solve. But once we get there, AI can help to personalize so young girls and boys get a chance to learn better.
SDG 05 / Gender equality
We still have huge problems with gender inequality. But AI can be a way of identifying unfair bias in systems - as long as the data you feed the system with, is unbiased. Biased data will only trigger inequalities.
SDG 06 / Clean water & sanitation
AI can increase water efficiency by measuring, predicting, and adjusting, to ensure access to clean water to more people.