- The pandemic showed AI’s potential for accelerating progress towards the SDGs.
- It has potential application in health, climate change, agriculture and transport.
- But we must ensure artificial intelligence is employed in ways that are trusted, transparent and inclusive.
Seven years have passed since world leaders met in New York and agreed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to resolve major challenges including poverty, hunger, inequality, climate change and health.
The pandemic undoubtedly diverted attention from some of these issues in the past couple of years. But even before COVID-19, the UN was warning that progress to meet the SDGs was not advancing at the speed or on the scale needed. Meeting them by 2030 will be tough.
Yet I remain optimistic. The pandemic demonstrated like nothing else the power of working collaboratively, across borders, for the benefit of society. It concentrated minds, funding and policy to accelerate research into virus detection, disease treatments, vaccines and manufacturing platforms.