How can enterprises better tie together the benefits and tackle the risks of new technologies?
Nowadays, the United Nations are involved in cutting-edge digital technology in some global programs, including:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) or e-translation.
- Big Data to gather a large amount of information.
- Facial recognition.
- Unarmed and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to strengthen peacekeeping operations.
- The use of Electronic Languages United Nations or eLUNa, a machine translation interface specially developed for translating the UN documents.
The UN has been using them to help millions of people out of poverty, to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS,) and to support developing countries to take the steps towards a better future.
Addressing these challenges requires four different areas: AI, Cyberspace, Biotechnology, the impact of technological apps on peace and security – helping to identify specific areas for the UN engagement, and where to add value. (Antonio Guterres, the UN current Secretary-General.)
The UN children’s agency UNICEF is using ML and AI for both programmatic and operational purposes and addressing principles regarding equity and poverty. Through its tool Magic Box, a collaborative platform supported by top private sectors, partners share data and expertise aimed to enhance public benefit. UNICEF gains valuable insights about necessities of vulnerable populations, achieves more informed-actions to invest better to cope epidemics, natural disaster and other challenges.
UNICEF Venture-Fund works on partnerships with developers of specific countries to find efficient solutions to possible risks, supported on Data Science and AI programs to benefit vulnerable children.
New technologies could add to the safeguarding of peace and security, encompassing disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. How? By making available new instruments and escalating existing ones — for instance, the Blockchain collective-ledger technology as in nuclear safeguards, or ML in multilateral disarmament verification.
How are AI and ML helping UNICEF children?
AI and Deep Learning algorithms can find out samples of satellite-images to map every school in the world, to foretelling models which can help us counteract the dissemination of illnesses. These solutions can help increase the extent and proficiency of programs in the field as well as enhance the distribution of such limited resources.
Challenges still to face:
- The lack of quality training sets.
- Data around most vulnerable populations is often scarce and inaccurate.
- The need to start putting more resources towards collecting data to validate existing records.
- A collaborative-work to ensure data is used to build fair-inclusive algorithms; to participate in what is happening globally, to bring to the table the voice of children, particularly of those in a weaker position.
- That UNICEF then can fund partners to benefit people and society; to formulate best practices on AI technologies, and to advance the public understanding of AI.
The use of Big Data, AI, Blockchain and other digital techs are being piloted in several UN agencies to share know-how and escalate them in their current systems.
The UN primary purposes are to strengthen edge technologies, digital support among governments, the private sector, the civil society, as well as international organisations, academia, technical community, everyone participant in the digital environment. The expectations are to promote consciousness around Digital techs possible disrupting-effects on societies and the economy and how to afford a securer, wider-ranging digital future for all, always bearing in mind human rights principles.
Final comments: Are ROBOTS replacing workers?
Kai-fu Lee, a long-time tech executive, mentioned: "AI will eliminate 40 per cent of the world jobs within 15 years." That matches to the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) report that estimated "1.37 million workers would be displaced by automation in the next decade." According to UN recent studies, between 75 to 375 million global employees will lose their jobs if businesses do not undertake an advanced-technological program on time!
The WEF stated 65% of children entering school today, will have jobs not existing yet; if many occupations vanish, new ones will appear. One of UNICEF’s efforts is an initiative that aims at ensuring that every child has access to the right information, opportunity and choice.
On the other hand, there is a skill disparity among young people and employers; they are not yet educating on the skills required for specific jobs. It is essential the mastering of these skills for future positions; children and youth's competence should match better to cope with Automation.
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