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The implications of the recent and surprisingly rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have spurred intense conversations globally. As science fiction becomes reality, it is fundamental to rethink AI's role in solving humankind's most enduring problems like poverty, inequality, malnutrition, to name a few.
This was at the heart of discussion during the first AI for Good Global Summit. Organised by International Telecommunications Unions (ITU) and the XPRIZE Foundation, the summit was held in Geneva from June 7-9, 2017. It provided a much-needed opportunity for international dialogue and collaboration that will ideally set a new paradigm of problem solving.
Present among the 400 policymakers, industry leaders, financial institutions and academicians was Apala Lahiri Chavan, President of Human Factors International (Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia). "Because of the incredible speed with which it can crack complex problems, AI would take away a lot of repetitive situations. Then we would be able to concentrate on using that and being very creative at solving problems," she said. But just as the Internet brought risks few anticipated, so will AI. It will bring societal disruption that will be hard to manage, and that could harm the world’s already disadvantaged. When asked her opinion, Apala replied, "In the development and design of AI solutions, there is a lack of diversity in understanding other cultures and contexts, and their needs. I think there should be more social scientists, designers, philosophers who need to be part of the way we craft solutions for the future."
Apala Lahiri Chavan is President, Human Factors International (Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia). Her passion is to envision how user experience can be inclusive, democratic and a change agent. She is also fascinated by changes in user experience across time and space.
Apala is an award-winning designer (International Audi Design Award 1996). She co-edited the book Innovative Solutions: What Designers Need to Know for Today's Emerging Markets and her TEDx talk is Three Laws of User Experience. Her model of the future 'No Waiting' was selected for publication in the World Future Society journal.
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Follow her @FuturistApala.