Artificial Intelligence is a technology that enables machines to simulate human behavior, which implies that for its construction programming algorithms, social science and the philosophy of ethics are equally important.

According to a report by the business consultancy PwC from 2017, artificial intelligence could contribute up to $ 15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 coming from increased productivity and consumption-side effects. Today such wording is no more relevant in a pan-epidemic world of over-consumption, climate change and the Great Resignation. Additionally, vast developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence by a few key players mostly in the U.S. and China display the social and economic inequalities of monopolies whether through financial power or political directive. We need to examine also the cultural, ethical, and philosophical bias of applications developed by data monopolies who often access and use data without the required consent by the data generators. The lack of working women in STEM also leads to algorithmic bias in code — when algorithms produce discriminatory outcomes – due to the lack of diversity by those who design, program and commercialize applications using artificial intelligence.

Europe should build on its social democratic tradition by utilizing artificial intelligence to achieve societal goals such as tackling climate change, to empower a fair wealth distribution, democratize healthcare and establish healthy food security. What if we, the community of technology entrepreneurs and researchers, use artificial intelligence for socially, environmentally and economically just applications that are built by diverse teams using data for good – one that considers data sovereignty as an inherently human right, and one that develops mechanisms to empower citizens to participate in the wealth created by applications using their data? We need to think besides political propaganda, corporate greed or sheer misinformation and use artificial intelligence for applications focused on achieving 79 % of the Sustainability Development Goals (according to a study published in Nature).

Over the past ten years I focused on sensing biometric and environmental data for healthcare focused on the effects on the human body. There is barely any data on healthy people to understand why at one point in their life they get an autoimmune disease. What if we develop sustainable business models that incentivize healthy people to participate in digital real world evidence studies made possible by the Digital Healthcare Act that was passed in Germany in 2019? What if we use artificial intelligence to create business models to tackle topics like climate change, biodiversity and other environmental concerns? What if we use AI to understand the effects of climate change on our health due to the migration of viruses? Or the destruction of biodiversity and natural habitat on our food and in turn our health? I love technology – but how many more fast-food delivery applications do we need that predict what I’d like to eat tonight? Let’s harness the power of artificial intelligence towards goals that benefit society at large!

Sabine Seymour
...schreibt nicht nur für das Zukunftsinstitut, die Technologin und Ökonomin ist auch preisgekrönte Unternehmerin, Designerin, Forscherin sowie Autorin von drei Büchern über die Schnittstelle von Körper und Technik.

Dieser Artikel erschien in unserer Ausgabe 3–22 zum Thema „KI“.

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