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Professor Hossam Badrawi calls for governments control of AI implementation at the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference

When dealing with Artificial intelligence, It is important to recognize that AI alone cannot solve the complex social and economic challenges related to poverty. However, it can be a powerful tool if integrated into broader strategies and policies.


In this regard, it is crucial to develop and implement an artificial intelligence able to support the most disadvantaged communities in fighting poverty by improving their education, health, accessibility, and accuracy with microfinance and precision agriculture, together with proper governance and transparency.



As underlined by Professor HOSSAM BADRAWI, Chairman of the Nile Badrawi Foundation for Education & Development, the challenge is there: it is a human decision to make AI an obstruction or a way to improve the quality of life.


READ THE FULL STATEMENT!


“Thank you, Mr. Civili. The previous speakers have left me little to talk about, but I will complement what they have said. Before I came here, I asked some of my colleagues and my students if they knew the difference between regular computing and artificial intelligence. To my astonishment, most of them did not know the difference. Personal regular computing uses algorithms to perform specific tasks. Execution and completion of tasks within regular computing rules are reliant upon predetermined instructions and it will only produce a result if we give the computer tasks. Artificial intelligence is different. Systems are designed to mimic human intelligence. Machine learning adapts and makes its own decisions based on data without explicit programming. It's a different sphere of activities that is going on. However, it's very important as a physician, educator, and an optimistic person, to see the fortunate part of artificial intelligence.
The poor communities and underprivileged are the most adaptable to changes, so there is an opportunity within these communities. Unfortunately, those who know better, those who are already educated, and those who are already knowledgeable will go faster, leaving behind the less privileged, which is a great challenge. It is important to recognize that artificial intelligence alone cannot solve the complex social and economic challenges related to poverty, but it can be a powerful tool, only if integrated into broader strategies and policies. And here, Mr. Chair, I would like to say that it is not the AI that will make the difference, it is the government who controls and manages the population who can make the difference. Without a vision, capacity, and intelligence, poor people will remain in poverty areas so long if their governments are not appropriate or efficient. 
The role of artificial intelligence has been clearly defined in healthcare, education, microfinance, recession agriculture, creating job opportunities, disaster resources, and reliance, in language translation and accessibility with resource management. But the most important is the governance and transparency. I am a physician and an educator. I know that drug companies will be ahead in creating specific drugs that would be specific for certain diseases, and using AI, will personalize how to manage healthcare together with robotic surgery and personalized medicine. As my previous colleague said, the diagnostic clarity and the opportunity to go after mass diseases predict the clinical decision support system with analysis and operational efficiency.
In education, we are looking for accessibility plus quality, and digitization, which is an infrastructure for AI. Together, we're building the personalities of students. AI can play a great role in improving the quality of education, even creating the education that is needed for the future and new job opportunities. Language translation and accessibility are a base of communication between people who do not know the language of each other. Someday, the whole world will be speaking the same language one way or another. But the most important, again, is the governance and transparency. 
Mr. Chair, it is important to know that governments can control the implementation of AI. As my previous colleagues spoke about geography, I'm speaking about an area, I'm coming from Egypt, the Middle East, which was the core of the old civilization, and now it is the core of great challenges in keeping peace and in improving a social situation. If I am talking about Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria, we are in serious trouble. If I talk to those people with AI only, I'm not doing anything. It is important to make it clear that using AI to create weapons, destroy villages, and empower occupation is not the AI that we are looking for. 
We are looking for AI that can help people get out of poverty by improving their education, health, accessibility, and accuracy with microfinance and precision agriculture, together with proper governance and transparency. The challenge is there: it is a human decision to make AI an obstruction or a way to improve the quality of life. I am sure that conferences like this, other conferences, and the United Nations will work hard in order to make the tool effective in the best of the human requirement, not in the worst of it. Thank you very much.”

 

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The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference is now available! The Plan of Action including a list of projects and proposals that emerged from the discussion will be available soon. STAY TUNED!



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