An account of the AI for GOOD Global Summit, Geneva

Driven by the rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research, intelligent machines are gaining the ability to learn, improve and make calculated decisions in ways that will enable them to perform tasks previously thought to rely solely on human experience, creativity, and ingenuit​y.  AI innovation will also be central to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will help solving challenges by capitalising on the unprecedented quantities of data now being generated on sentiment behaviour, human health, commerce, communications, migration and more.

The ITU and the XPRIZE Foundation organised the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, 7-9 June, 2017 in partnership with 20 UN sister agencies. The Summit aimed to accelerate and advance the development and democratization of AI solutions that can address specific global challenges. A global audience of well over 400 people, policy makers, thought leaders, industry leaders, attended the Summit including Frits Bussemaker, representing both CIONET and the Global Digital Leaders Alliance. He was invited to chair the break-through session on Smart Cities & Communities which included speakers like Peter Marx, former CTO of Los Angeles, Thomas Wiegand, director of the Fraunhofer HHI institute and Igor van Gemert, CEO SIM-CI, the innovation hub of the Energy company Alliander, who already have developed an operational Ai-based solution to model critical infrastructures.

The first day of the summit was setting the scene with keynote presentations by world renowned experts. On day 2 and 3 the delegates went into workshop mode in the break-through sessions with lots of brainstorming, discussions and interactions with the objective to determine Food-for-Thought statements for delegates to take back home. According to Frits Bussemaker: “The AGGS has done a great job in razing the participants awareness of AI, helped them on the path to generate ideas on how to fulfill the SDGs. Ideas which hopefully will transform in solutions and ready to use products. No doubt in the near future Digital Leaders around the globe will have access to these Ai based products and will be able to help their organisations benefit from Ai and at the same time help reach the SDGs”.

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