We Need a Broader Perspective on AI and AI Policy

By Brian Gonzalez, Senior Director, Global Partnership & Initiatives for Intel

When you think about artificial intelligence (AI), you don’t think about any one nation, company or organization. You think about possibility. Just the term “AI” inspires people to ask important questions about how we as a species think, work and create — and how we can improve upon the world we know today. To democratize the technology and maximize its potential, we need to think bigger and approach this revolutionary field of thought with a broader perspective.

Last week’s All.ai Summit and the AI for Youth Virtual Symposium are prime examples of how to do this without losing sight of the unique cultural needs of each community or the impact on the individual. At the All.ai Summit, Nivruti Rai, Country Head of Intel India, introduced attendees to the term “population scale” — population scale AI, population scale healthcare, population scale infrastructure. Using India (the second largest country by population) as a model, innovators can craft AI solutions for over a billion people while still ensuring the solutions are culturally relevant and responsive.

Population scale solutions like these cannot happen in a vacuum. The All.ai Summit highlighted just how important partnership and collaboration are in understanding and tackling our society’s biggest problems. That’s why Intel India collaborated with the state government of Telangana, the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H), and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) to launch a new applied AI research center called INAI. This center represents a valuable step forward in our ability to solve problems collaboratively.

Another valuable step forward is the increasing availability of AI courses, training initiatives, and degree and certificate programs. At Intel, we have committed to fostering AI education and have a plan to partner with 30 governments and 30,000 institutions worldwide to empower more than 30 million people with AI skills training. We call this our 30/30/30 plan. One example of our work with higher education is our collaboration with the Maricopa County Community College District to create Arizona’s first AI certificate and degree program, which will prepare MCCCD students for careers in the STEM workforce.

Due to the increasingly digital nature of STEM in general and AI in particular, education can be made available for both synchronous and asynchronous learning for large groups and across national borders. On Tuesday, our AI for Youth Virtual Symposium made history by setting a Guinness World Records™ for most users ever to take an online artificial intelligence lesson in 24 hours with 13,000 students. On Wednesday, we reached a cumulative audience of more than 115,000 participants from over 69 countries. We look forward to expanding our reach through additional AI for Youth programs and events.

When you bring together such a large group of international thinkers and innovators, the results can be inspiring and potential game-changers. Take for example the social impact projects that were showcased at the virtual symposium. These projects display the creativity and thoughtful development process that today’s youth bring to AI. Past AI for Youth participants created apps to connect students with skilled tutors and to reduce energy waste by using computer vision to toggle device power supply when not in use.

Moving forward, we need everyone in AI — from students to research scientists to technology leaders and their partners in various industries — to think about the impact their work will have across international borders and cultural divides. Without a broader perspective on how AI can be used for good around the world, new advancements could easily get bogged down in policy disputes, regulatory restraints and interoperability failures as companies work in their national or industry siloes. Breaking down barriers will help unlock all the possibilities of AI and ensure that this vital field of inquiry is explored to its fullest potential — for the benefit of every nation and every person, not just one.