As world leaders gather in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, President Alice Gast writes about the use of AI in the race to achieve the SDGs.
President Gast writes: “It is imperative that we have the right processes and practices in place to ensure that AI is developed in a positive and ethical way in order to see it adopted and used to the fullest by citizens and governments.
“We must now work together to ensure that artificial intelligence can accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and help us get back on track to achieve them by 2030.”
Chairman Gast highlighted some of Imperial’s projects that are harnessing the potential of AI to achieve the SDGs.
Researchers from Google Health, DeepMind, the NHS, Northwestern University and colleagues at Imperial designed and trained an AI model to identify breast cancer from x-ray images.
The computer algorithm, which was trained using mammogram images of nearly 29,000 women, was found to be as good as human radiologists at spotting cancer. At a time when health services around the world are in demand as they deal with long backlogs of patients after the pandemic, this type of technology can help reduce bottlenecks and improve treatment.
Diagnosis of malaria in developing countries
For malaria, a portable lab-on-chip molecular diagnostic system developed with AI could revolutionize the way the disease is detected in remote parts of Africa. The project, which is led by the Digital Diagnostics for Africa Network, brings together collaborators such as MinoHealth AI Labs in Ghana and Imperial’s Global Development Hub. This technology could help pave the way for universal health coverage and push us towards achieving SDG3.
Improve food production
With an expanding world population, we face challenges related to food demand and production – not only how to reduce malnutrition, but also its impact on the planet, such as deforestation, emissions and loss of biodiversity. To meet these needs, the use of artificial intelligence in agriculture is growing rapidly, enabling farmers to improve crop production, direct machines to perform tasks autonomously, and identify pest infestations. pests before they occur.
Smart sensing technology also helps farmers use fertilizers more efficiently and reduce environmental damage. An exciting research project, funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK and Cytiva, will help growers optimize when and how much fertilizer to use on their crops, taking into account factors such as weather and soil conditions. This will reduce the expense and harmful effects of over-fertilizing the soil.
Imperial in Davos
Imperial College Business School will be in Davos alongside the World Economic Forum from May 22-26, 2022. They will be hosting a series of events themed around Transforming organisations, transforming markets – an opportunity to explore some of the most pressing challenges and exciting opportunities facing businesses today.
One of the shows will focus on “The Ethics of AI” and another on “Decoding Digital Assets”.
Academics from Imperial will also participate in side panels on “Integrating the SDGs into the Transition to Web3 Technologies” and “Rethinking Capitalism in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.