Founder and Chairman of Cerebrum Tech.
Inarguably, 2023 was a year marked by noteworthy developments and discussions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, English dictionary publishers included “AI” and other AI-related words as their “Word of the Year” selections. While British publisher Collins directly selected “AI” as its word choice, Cambridge’s selection was “hallucinate” to address the false information produced by AI, and the American publisher Merriam-Webster picked “authentic,” saying the line between real and fake is diminishing.
Time To Reap The Fruits
With the tremendous breakthrough in large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, which created a buzz at the top of the news agenda, 2023 was the year in which we reaped the rewards of nearly 70 years of work on AI. Putting aside the excitement that generative AI is creating among digital content creators, it’s crucial to acknowledge AI’s historical development, shaped by scientists’ efforts to address substantial challenges in sustainable growth and advancement.
AI: The Accelerator For Progress
With its ability to process vast amounts of data, make predictive models and automate tasks, AI has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing global issues. By providing efficient, cost-effective, adaptable solutions, AI can make a significant difference in areas that have so far been daunting. As we enter a pivotal moment in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the successes in AI offer new opportunities for the global community to take action.
The Future Of Medical AI
AI is already profoundly impacting healthcare developments. With the help of AI, we can fill capacity gaps in inadequate healthcare services, especially in middle- and low-income countries. Access to care and disease management stand out as important issues, and AI has much to offer in this area.
In addition, AI-based drug discoveries have reached an exciting level. In December 2023, scientists from MIT and Harvard disclosed that AI played a crucial role in screening millions of chemical compounds, leading to the identification of a category of antibiotics capable of eliminating two distinct types of drug-resistant bacteria.
Discovering Alternative Materials With AI
Another exciting research result reveals that an alternative substance recently found using AI and supercomputers could reduce the amount of lithium used in batteries by 70%. Microsoft, which conducted the research, was able to narrow the suitable materials down to “just a few hundred candidates” out of over 23 million potential substances within a few days. If traditional laboratory methods had been used, it would have taken many years to complete the screening process.
These advances demonstrate how using AI could expedite the search for new or alternative materials and medications. Clearly, AI has the power to help tackle these global issues.
Using AI Responsibly
In September 2023, at an event organized by the UN, the world’s leading figures on AI and officials from various countries came together to announce their support of key AI principles. Their statement highlighted the positive impact of AI on enhancing lives, empowering individuals, advancing environmental sustainability and mitigating poverty and inequality, with the goal of fostering inclusive and sustainable growth. However, there was also a very important warning that, given how quickly AI is evolving, the developing world may fall behind and if not developed responsibly and inclusively, AI might exacerbate inequality and upend society.
A Tool For The Good Of All
After the great excitement of last year, 2024 is likely to be a year of debate on where AI is heading in terms of regulation and ethics. However, if the possibilities of AI are harnessed for the whole world’s benefit, we can take better actions for our planet sooner. To do this, it’s crucial that all stakeholders—governments, the private sector, academia and civil society—are engaged equally in using AI responsibility to shape the future.
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