The 2nd AI for Good Global Summit will take place from 15-17 May in Geneva, Switzerland. The brainchild of IFIP IP3 Vice Chair, Stephen Ibaraki, the Summit will focus on how artificial intelligence (AI) can accelerate progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In founding the event last year, Ibaraki leveraged his various leadership roles within IFIP, ACM, ITU, IEEE, the Financial Services Roundtable, Digital Africa and other ICT-focused organisations to bring together key stakeholders with an interest in exploring the possibilities for AI to serve humanity.

Ibaraki said the 4th Industrial Revolution continues to demonstrate what he calls exponential “A Triple C”:

  • accelerating Automation;
  • time Compression in new innovations;
  • Convergence in physical and digital existences; and
  • ubiquitous Connectivity.

“Perhaps nowhere is this “A Triple C” dynamic more on display than in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to underpin many of the key emerging technologies and power business growth across industries,” he said.

“It’s clear that AI is becoming the new electricity, and its rapid proliferation has happened in a very short span of three years – with a large leap in the past 12 months. But what’s really exciting is AI’s potential to improve lives at a pace and scale not seen before.”

Mr Ibaraki said a key driver of this potential has been a significant business and investment shift toward a greater focus on social good.

This year’s AI for Good Global Summit is organized by ITU in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation, ACM and sister United Nations agencies including UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNIDO, Global Pulse, UNICRI, UNODA, UNIDIR, UNODC, IFAD and WFP.

The AI for Good series is now the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The action-oriented 2018 summit will identify practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on our planet.

“As the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies, ITU aims to guide AI innovation towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, Marcus Shingles, said his organization is very supportive of the ‘AI for Good’ movement and continue to be inspired by and learn from this ecosystem.

“As XPRIZE utilizes incentive competitions and crowdsourcing as a means to activate teams from around the world to solve an SDG-related grand challenge, we anticipate that the majority of those teams that compete to win an XPRIZE will innovate solutions with AI,” he said.

“Achieving the true potential of AI to benefit humanity will demand clear strategies devised in concert by government, industry, academia and civil society. The AI for Good series is setting these strategies in motion,” says ACM President Vicki Hanson.

The 2nd AI for Good Global Summit will continue to formulate strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits.

‘Breakthrough teams’ will demonstrate:

  • the potential of AI to map poverty and predict natural disasters using satellite imagery;
  • how AI could assist the delivery of citizen-centric services in smart cities; and
  • new opportunities to provide access to AI-powered medical breakthroughs through low-tech interfaces.

They will also investigate the potential of Blockchain technology to support trusted, transparent AI development.

Teams will propose impactful AI strategies able to be enacted in the near term, guided by an expert audience of mentors representing government, industry, academia and civil society.

Strategies will be evaluated by the mentors according to their feasibility and scalability, potential to address truly global challenges, degree of supporting advocacy, and applicability to market failures beyond the scope of government and industry.

The Summit will build on the success of the ground-breaking 2017 AI for Good Global Summit in June 2017, the first event to launch inclusive global dialogue on the actions necessary to ensure that AI benefits humanity.