AI For Good - Let's not forget the WHY

With the fervent exponential rate of development, we find ourselves part of the technological evolutionary landscape. Less and less are we seeing landmark moments, the “quantum leaps” (not scientifically grounded terminology, I know), game changing moments, where a spark of innovation changed the world as we know it. When we all think back over our lives, I am sure we can remember, with a degree of nostalgia perhaps, the times of yore. Perhaps this might more so be applicable to the digital immigrants rather than the digital citizens in the room. For me, it is the harmonios grind of the 1.4in floppy drive, and then a hard drive; so no longer did I have to insert disk 11, disk 3 and disk 5 after confronting LeChuck on Monkey Island.

Fast forward some years, mobile telephony, 3G, 4G, 5G. Fibre broadband, 1TB microSD memory cards. 1 Terrabyte! The child in me is emulating Back to the Future’s Doc Brown in 1955 gesticulating at 1.21 GIGAWATTS?!

But in all seriousness, our leaps and bounds, perhaps as our knowledge and society drive grows, are seemingly less impactful. The steep curve is perhaps now a steady gradient. But in the perpetual growth to analyse, quantify efficiently reduce the bulk burden of thinking with the help of complex mathematical algorithms, I do wonder. Climate Change, Poverty, Hunger. How can some sectors of the world be so forward looking, yet sometimes fail to bring the rest with them.

I regularly refer to the precipice moment that were approaching in the realm of autonomous and intelligent systems. So, we need to move away from a reactive and towards a proactive approach of how we both utilise and integrate AI. As we seek to develop hybridised frameworks and standardisation protocols through collaborative efforts and sandbox development, should we not also take this opportunity to fold the wider global challenges into this evolved way of working, so that a sustainable approach can be taken to strive to combat and eradicate the likes of poverty and climate change.

Happy for that the only one am I not, who dares not just to dream such whispers, but also find ways to realise them. This week, I will be at the AI for Good Summit, hosted in Geneva by the UN ITU, and partnered with my new friends and partners at the Xprize Foundation and ACM. I will be hearing from free and innovative thinkers, and also developing new ways that we at Saidot, can utilise our technological solution through our SaaS platform, and research directive, can partner with the AI Commons, and AI for Good initiatives. This aspect of our purpose-driven work reminds me of the WHY we do what we do, and not just the what and the how.

So I hope you can all join me this week, while I try to contain my childhood wonder and excitement at the learning at the leading edge of this sector, for long enough to compose an articulate narrative to reflect on not just the “here and now”, but the “there and then”. And how, through my CRIO role, and can just the dots between the former and the latter.