Artificial intelligence (AI) advances in giant steps, beyond expectations. Apparently, this advanced technology is seen developing a fundamental role in the daily life of human beings and their environment.

Scientists are still in uncertainty about the potential of this tool for social good. Researchers say that if you take advantage in the right way, you can accelerate vertiginously the progress in achieving development goals in different areas.

The transformative scope of artificial intelligence implies complex risks ranging from trust problems, security risks, to concerns about a possible increase in inequalities and the consequences on employment capacity.

Facing these challenges requires multiple efforts and unprecedented collaboration if the common goal is the pursuit of social welfare. Before delving into the subject, we must clarify some fundamental concepts.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence corresponds to a branch of computer science in which machines acquire the ability to develop tasks such as the human mind, such as solving problems through logical reasoning, learning new skills or obtaining knowledge.

The term refers to a series of program, logic, computer and philosophy disciplines that allow machines to fulfill functions that were unique to humans in the past: interpret written or spoken language, understand, recognize voices and facial expressions.

Why is artificial intelligence important? Artificial intelligence is an option of great relevance to put an end to global social problems such as poverty, hunger, as well as representing a hope to reverse the process of environmental degradation.

IA: a viable alternative to save the world

World leaders gathered at the AI ​​for Good Summit to discuss the benefits of artificial intelligence and its potential to solve problems that affect the world’s population. This summit seeks to promote innovation by emphasizing the advantages and benefits that can be accessed very soon thanks to the speed of the progress.

Expert scientists suggest that all governments, companies, and academic institutions should be incorporated into the global debate civil society organizations to consider how this technology will affect the future of people and the world in general.

The first AI for Good World Summit held in 2017 was a momentous event where a global dialogue on the contribution and benefits to the common good was first raised. In 2018, the second summit was held, which was oriented towards action and the approach of effective long-term solutions.

The debate will use the United Nations platform to facilitate a common understanding of the capabilities of emerging artificial intelligence technologies.

On the other hand, this summit will increase the cohesion of political approaches in everything related to AI and will favor the joint actions of the international community in favor of the application of AI in various fields. This with the firm purpose of solving the difficulties facing humanity.

Artificial Intelligence as an instrument to save lives: Microsoft

Microsoft has designed a prototype called AI for Humanitarian Action, a new program that aims to take advantage of the scope of artificial intelligence to help the world.

Despite the intense efforts of global organizations to alleviate the deep humanitarian crisis worldwide, caused by natural disasters or human activity, we are still far from getting the solution to all problems, however AI could be a conflict response. Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, believes that it is a useful tool to save lives when combined with cloud technology.

These advances serve to minimize suffering and restore human dignity to the world by changing the way in which these organizations take forecasts and focus their energy and willingness to provide solutions.

For this reason, Microsoft together with the United Nations General Assembly has launched AI for Humanitarian Action, a new software of 40 million dollars to five years to help the planet solve natural disasters, address the basic needs of children, protect the victims and refugees, and encourage respect for human rights.

«We will work deeply with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian organizations selected through financial grants, investments and technology partnerships that combine our experience in AI and data science with the core experience of these groups,» said Smith.

The businessman optimistically assured that «AI for Humanitarian Action will accelerate the pace of innovation by managing strategic AI projects that demonstrate new applications, deliver reusable solutions and partnerships with third parties to expand and scale up initial projects.»

In turn, he noted that “to lead these efforts, John Kahan will join as head of data analytics for Microsoft’s external, legal and corporate affairs, and will have the mission of obtaining new valuable information and infusing data science to face the biggest problems in the world.

This will include promoting the sustainable use of the planet’s resources, improving opportunities for people with disabilities, protecting human rights, strengthening humanitarian assistance, and increasing the capacities of NGOs around the world. ”

«We hope that the world will see the compelling force for good that AI can be when it is used well in partnership with innovative NGOs,» Brad Smith concluded.

Artificial intelligence to eliminate pollution

Artificial intelligence is not only associated with robotics and the replacement of the human workforce by machines; this technology serves to save the planet and those who inhabit it. With regard to environmental pollution, there are several ways in which it can be of great help:

1) Increase in the use of autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are a reality; they allow positive changes in the transport system to reduce the emission of toxic substances and greenhouse gases.

2) Use of renewable energy

With it, a more efficient use and supply of renewable energy can be achieved, working on new storage and management alternatives.

3) Smart agriculture

This activity is essential for human life; however, the use of insecticides, pesticides, and substances harmful to the environment to ensure production can dangerously affect the planet.

With AI, smarter agriculture can be achieved, which can detect crop problems and develop for environmentally friendly solutions. In addition, AI can help reduce excessive water use and generate more profitable planting systems for extreme climates, expanding the growing possibilities of multiple countries.

4) Smart cities

Thanks to the automation of cities and buildings, cities will have a more efficient consumption of water and energy, but transport systems will also be improved to reduce emissions of polluting gases.

5) Weather prediction

Climate change is an inevitable reality, but thanks to artificial intelligence, calculations and predictions can be made to prevent natural disasters and thus anticipate the impacts that natural phenomena such as hurricanes and tsunamis can cause. These are just some of the applications that until now are known for AI.

But knowing its speed of growth, it is possible to think that in just a few years there will be even more ways to use it to save the planet.

Artificial intelligence & citizen security

The use of artificial intelligence can improve the electronic security of a city. Jorge Muñoz, a Hikvision engineer, said: “That facial recognition is one of the technologies that can be applied to prevent criminal acts.

If you connect to a database, comparisons could be made with previously registered faces. With this, we could know if a person with a capture order is entering a commercial premises, a parking lot or if a suspect is shown near a bank.

This technology can be used in casinos to detect people who are part of the list of ludopaths, for example.” In addition, the license plate recognition is already used, which makes it easier to find a car reported as stolen.

“These cameras, together with the databases of the supervisory entity, can find out if a vehicle travels with ballots. If the police receive a robbery call you can enter the registration number in the system and the devices connected to a software will reveal the locations of the car to investigate your route,” he added.

Emergency poles can also be installed on the streets to offer direct communication before an alert:   “It is true that this solution is already being applied. In Hikvision we have achieved the efficiency of this device by adding artificial intelligence to generate a preventive and deterrent interaction.”


While smart cameras are already used in many countries, integration with analysis systems is a weakness. One of the challenges is that a better infrastructure is required to transmit and receive a large amount of information. Likewise, security personnel must be educated and trained in new technologies.

«It is necessary professionals trained in handling and, above all, perfectly dimension every detail so as not to have cameras as a deterrent, but rather reactive to interact with the staff in charge,» Muñoz said. In his opinion, the culture of safety in the population is also insufficient and requires greater awareness.

There is no doubt that the AI ​​promises to give forceful solutions to the conflicts that the world population lives, but it must be handled with ethics, conscience, and wisdom, it is not only about changing the way we work and how we care by the planet, but also to know using technology correctly without dehumanizing us.

Malbin Rodríguez, [23.09.19 09:07] importance of artificial intelligence______________________________________________________________

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