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Beyond killer robots: How we can use artificial intelligence for good

Nicolas Borel

COO Travel Intelligence, Amadeus IT Group

When you think about artificial intelligence (AI), the first thing that may come to mind are Terminators or HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. But AI could also be a powerful force for good. Thanks to AI, individuals can contribute to things like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We’re on board with these goals and always on the lookout for partnerships that can widen our contribution to social responsibility. Our partnership with UNICEF is a great example of this. Their platform, Magic Box, provides a way to help the humanitarian sector apply data sources to assess emergencies at the moment they happen. When coupled with cutting edge technology like AI, there are no limits to the impact we can have together on these types of situations.

At this year’s ‘AI for Good’ summit, organised by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and the XPRIZE Foundation, I saw the current applications and possibilities of AI technology. These included satellite monitoring of crises, using chatbots to better understand hunger, autonomous vehicles to reach inaccessible regions, and optimising virtual farmer’s markets to better connect people with food sources.

We have the potential to help in some of these areas by using data analytics and AI. Currently, we are using our Analytics platform and data scientists to mix travel data with UNICEF’s data to determine the spread of the Zika virus.

AI could bring about a fourth industrial revolution. But this revolution will provide us with a way to make a positive impact for the most vulnerable people in the world. While AI can’t solve all our problems, it can help make a big dent in them and help do some real good. If industry players work together, then the sky is the limit to the contribution we can all make to social responsibility backed by AI.


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Artificial Intelligence