A Conversation with Inspired Minds


What does AI4Good mean to you?

 In our world of building an influential AI community bringing together thought leaders and decision makers in artificial intelligence implementation, AI4Good means ensuring that technological methods like deep learning, machine learning and other next generation technologies are developed in a responsible and transparent way in order to improve business development and assist economic growth, while respecting the importance of privacy and regulation of big data. The drive towards this goal should also take into account the ethical and societal implications of using AI in scientific development and expansion.

How would you define the ‘global AI ecosystem’?

Globally, the AI ecosystem is made up, on the one hand, of influencers, developers, scientists, technologists working alongside governments, international organisations such as the UN and NGOs. While on the other, we see enterprise leaders and technicians in all verticals along with the integrators, adopters and end-users of advanced AI solutions.

We believe it is important for all players involved to be fully aware of the real issues surrounding the implementation of AI, as well as deep and machine learning solutions. This means the wider world and individual stakeholders across the entire AI value chain are able to face the different strategic, technical and operational challenges brought by AI technological adoption and systems implementation.

Why do you consider it particularly important to ensure that emerging AI technology is safe and inclusive?

 As there are optimum ways to integrate AI and innovate for the greater good of industry everywhere, it is important to ensure scientists and technologists alike are on the same page in terms on making the world a better place through AI innovation. If this is achieved, safety and inclusivity will be inherent in the technology, meaning adopters can influence the important role AI can play in the global sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. In essence, it is all about boosting global societal development through AI - helping improve living standards and economies for everyone everywhere.

 Inspired Minds is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – what does this mean regarding AI?

 According to the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These include areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among others.

Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike. This level of collaboration means that emerging and disruptive technologies, such as AI, set a whole new paradigm for development and can play a major role in attaining the results set by these goals. One example of AI in action here includes combining satellite imagery with object detection software to enable rescue workers operating in disaster areas.

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How do you see AI being used for the greater good today? And how do you see this progressing in the future?

 At Inspired Minds we connect the global AI ecosystem from enterprise to BigTech, startups, investors and science. As a result of this, we are a community with big ambitions and see the major opportunities and indeed actions that are making AI available to all economies, countries and cultures – thereby promoting AI for the greater good.

 AI adoption in businesses large and small is already making a difference in terms of improving the workplace, allowing employees more time to focus on being proactively part of accelerating business growth through creativity and innovation, rather than just cogs in the wheel of manufacture. Real examples of this include robotic process automation using AI to accurately complete repetitive tasks in volume, thereby saving money and time; also voice assistants, which help employees with understanding processes. Another example is the use of chatbots which while replacing some workplace activity, also have the potential to create new jobs for data preparation and analysis.

In terms of future progress, by focusing on emerging technologies and building communities to ensure that AI is developed and adopted in ways that are inclusive and equitable, the technologies can work for all, not just a privileged few.

How does this translate into your AI World Summits?

Our events and projects are reflective of this progress – we are at the forefront of not just discovering the world’s issues but defining the solutions. Our Summits are structured and aligned with the UN SDGs and each event is focused on specific strategic outcomes both in terms of content and the world leaders who participate.

The global series of summits we host unites the world’s AI ecosystem with major players in the worlds of business and science. Not only do they give a deeper insight into different strategic, technical and operational issues surrounding AI technology, they provide opportunities for intense debate on a wide range of highly relevant topics in all verticals from earth innovation to education, Fintech to automotive or manufacturing to healthcare.

What projects are Inspired Minds currently working on/with?

 Apart from our World Summits – both in the Americas and Europe, Inspired Minds is also involved in a number of other ground breaking AI projects

These include Ada-AI, (ada-ai.org) a non-profit organization and global community working to ensure that AI and other emerging technologies are developed and adopted in ways that are inclusive and equitable.  A direct result of this is the STEAM project in Afghanistan – a high school that provides students with critical technical skills and exposure to emerging technologies and AI. Other projects include a successful Fondation Botnar challenge won through a design workshop we hosted, aimed at fostering collaboration between young people in Europe and Tanzania to improve the health and wellbeing in the country.

 In addition, our community has been pivotal in facilitating the African Alliance of Digital Health Networks at Intelligent Health 2018; the hosting of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation at World Summit AI; and the launch of AI commons and the formation of ALLAI – a platform for initiating AI from as early as start-up to seed stage.

 Sarah Porter
Founder and CEO, Inspired Minds