Ensuring positive, people-focused futures through AI

When AI stands for accessible and inclusive

May 29, 2024
AI graphic

Around the world UNDP advocates for transformative AI-driven solutions designed to advance people-focused, positive change.

Graphic: Shutterstock

As the world converges at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland on 30 and 31 May, UNDP will be sharing even more transformative AI-driven solutions designed to advance people-focused, positive change around the world.

With a footprint in 170 countries, UNDP is rapidly leveraging AI as a powerful tool at scale, collaborating with governments, innovation labs and civic society to pioneer inclusive digital strategies and ensure that the good of people and communities is at the heart of AI development.

Our thinking, piloting and scaling for AI is approached through a “DEEP” lens, which seeks to demystify and democratize AI understanding; empower individuals to leverage AI for better lives; experiment and explore AI's potential in a safe and responsible way; and protect people's rights and safety when using AI. 

Harnessing digital solutions and technological tools can advance our core mandate – to eradicate poverty and end inequality – and positively transform lives. In 2022 alone, 124 countries implemented 480 digital solutions for development, while our Accelerator Labs are active in 115 countries and have stimulated 6,000 development solutions. 

A key aspect of these efforts is our work supporting governments to safely harness AI. We help to shape national AI strategies and to conduct AI readiness assessments (AIRA). These enable nations to understand their AI landscape, assess their expertise and build ethical AI systems that prevent bias and protect the most vulnerable.

From health to education, AI can take communities further, faster

In the country context, UNDP has been an early explorer and advocate for AI's power and potential (and development imperative). In 2020, UNDP India used AI to tackle air pollution, while in 2022 AI-enhanced portable X-ray machines helped to screen for new cases of tuberculosis, which has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNDP country offices have used AI to improve healtheducationagriculturetourism and broader development outcomes, including tackling disinformation.

We have developed an extensive databank of AI tools that empower communities around the world. Some of these projects will be showcased at the AI for Good Global Summit, including:

  • Data for development through AIDA – Artificial Intelligence for Development Analytics, a search tool at the cutting edge of technology that can intelligently search and make sense of data and analysis from over 6,000 UNDP reports on poverty, equality and climate change, generating insights for potential policymaking or research.
  • DiCRA -Data in Climate Resilient Agriculture an AI-powered platform for climate-resilient agriculture. DiCRA offers open access to vital geospatial datasets collated from global data scientists and citizen scientists. DiCRA's pattern detection and data insights empower evidence-driven policymaking and future-fit strategies for resilient food systems worldwide.
  • Combating misinformation with iVerify an automated tool that draws on AI and machine learning alongside human fact-checking to identify and combat misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech. Particularly useful in times of elections and to promote well-informed societies, iVerify has been implemented in countries including Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia.

From enabling data-driven decision-making to enhancing climate resilience, these AI tools catalyse community development, bringing tangible benefits that enhance livelihoods, education, environmental sustainability and social cohesion. 

Amidst growing tensions between countries and calls for the United Nations to play a role in bridging these differences, UNDP welcomes collaboration and partnership to amplify the impact of AI on positive, people-focused progress. Join the conversation and visit us at the exhibit during the AI for Good Summit in Geneva, 30 to 31 May 2024.