Harnessing AI to Improve Lives and Address Global Challenges
In a dynamic address at the New York Public Library, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken emphasized the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in advancing global sustainable development goals.
Secretary Blinken commended the library’s historical role in shedding light on the world’s most pressing issues through knowledge exchange, setting the stage for a crucial discussion on leveraging AI to create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world.
The Power of AI in Achieving the SDGs
Secretary Blinken acknowledged that AI, particularly advanced systems like GPT-4, presents a new era in technology, with vast potential to process information, solve complex problems, and create original content. However, he also highlighted the potential risks associated with AI, including bias, discrimination, and misuse for harmful purposes.
The Urgent Need to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
As Secretary Blinken noted, progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is lagging, with only 12 percent of the targets on track for completion. Some goals are regressing, demanding immediate action. Blinken stressed that every tool, including AI, must be employed to get the SDGs back on course.
AI’s Role in Advancing the SDGs
Experts estimate that AI could advance nearly 80 percent of the SDGs and their targets. What’s more, AI systems are already being actively utilized to predict extreme weather events, enhance agricultural productivity, combat hunger, manage disease outbreaks, and develop clean energy infrastructure.
International Cooperation and Governance
The United States, as a leader in AI governance, has developed a blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and an AI Risk Management Framework. It has also initiated voluntary commitments with top AI companies to enhance safety and security. Efforts are underway to establish international AI governance frameworks, with participation from developing countries.
Maximizing AI for the Greater Good
Companies have pledged to create AI systems focused on addressing society’s challenges. The U.S. aims to support these efforts and strengthen partnerships between developers and governments. The country also supports initiatives like AI for Climate Action and AI for Good, emphasizing the importance of cooperation across governments.
U.S. Commits $15 Million to Drive AI for Sustainable Development
Secretary Blinken announced a $15 million commitment by the United States to help governments worldwide harness the power of AI to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. This substantial funding will play a pivotal role in furthering AI’s positive impact on global development.
Shaping the Future of AI Together
Secretary Blinken concluded his address by highlighting the immense responsibility shared by governments, the private sector, civil society, and individuals in shaping the future of AI. He emphatically emphasized that with collective efforts, the opportunities offered by AI are boundless, and the world can harness its potential for the benefit of all.