Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation

Artificial Intelligence: The Road Ahead in Low and Middle-Income Countries

This white paper, produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, focuses on providing an important step towards enabling collaboration and solving challenges faced through the web, as well as increasing public and key stakeholder understanding of how the individual components of the system work. A considerable body of literature exists on the social and economic impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  

To date almost all of this work has been focused on the implications of AI for people living in higher income countries such as the EU, UK and US. The focus of this paper is on the impact of AI on people living in low and middle-income countries for whom many of the same opportunities and risks apply (often to a greater extent), along with additional opportunities and risks unique to these countries. As one of our interviewees noted, the discourse around technology is universalising, but social and economic contexts are crucial. The report provides a detailed outlook of the risks and opportunities artificial intelligence (AI) poses for low and middle-income countries, as well as the key elements that can be leveraged upon to maximise the benefits and minimize the risks generated by AI. The insights provided throughout the paper are the result of over two dozen in-depth interviews with key experts and practitioners based in these countries and an extensive literature review.

The key potential areas for action focus on:

  1. creating bridges between developers in low and middle-income countries and high income countries,
  2. ensuring the interests of low and middle-income countries are represented in key debates and decisions relating to AI,
  3. facilitating access to open, good quality data to enable the development of AI technologies, while ensuring personal data is not misused, and
  4. maximising the opportunities for AI to be used for public good, with a particular focus on marginalised groups.

You can read the full white paper here.