AI4D: Artificial Intelligence for Development
66 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2018 Last revised: 23 Jan 2019
Date Written: March 20, 2018
In line with a long research tradition focused on the use of information and communication technology for development (ICT4D), we explore the role of artificial intelligence (AI4D). We start with a rather technical review of four of the characteristic traits of deep learning technologies, which leads to natural metaphors for international development. Based on the empirical evidence of 24 case studies, we derive four characteristics of the use of AI4D that align with the four technological traits. In isolation, each one of them presents a plethora of opportunities to contribute to international development, especially to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, in combination, they create a clear tension between a looming threat of a hegemonic intelligence indoctrination pushed by global economies of scale, and the potential promise to not only honor, but to celebrate local diversity with the help of flexible AI designs. We conclude that the latter cannot be achieved without an active public policy dialogue on the international level and a determined effort on the national levels, especially in developing countries. The study provides terminology and concepts to identify and frame the arising discussions.
Keywords: International Development, ICT4D, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Poverty
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation