With less than 10 years to achieve the SDGs, emerging technologies like AI hold great promise

That's why AI for SDGs Canada is leading this effort by facilitating an action-based approach to solving global issues related to climate change, poverty, education, and health.

The challenge

 

Today, the impacts of climate change are undoubtedly present. Between 1998-2017, direct losses from climate disasters claimed 1.3 million lives (over 90% reported in low to middle-income countries) and cost an estimated $3 trillion (151% increase compared with 1978-1997). Although numerous reports, interventions, definitions, and multinational agreements have been introduced, the state of people and the planet has dramatically become worse - despite prosperity in areas such as science, technology, and finance.

 

To address such global concerns, in 2015 the UN introduced 17 sustainable development goals to eliminate poverty, protect the earth, and create an equitable and sustainable future by 2030. In response, stakeholders belonging to plural, public, and private sectors are independently or in partnership answering the call and trying to define themselves against the goals. Yet year after year, climate challenges eclipse the solutions attempted, and severe risks to natural and human systems are experienced. Conventional approaches are simply not keeping pace, and the global community must utilize alternatives to mitigate risks.

A closer look

60% 

of emerging technology use cases (environment, job security, health, and inclusion) compiled in a McKinsey report currently use AI.

17

Sustainable Development

Goals

231

Indicators

193

Member States

<10

Years left to achieve the Goals

The opportunity

 

Progress towards the goals requires alternative emergent approaches to keep pace with rapidly evolving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges. 

Meeting the SDGs will require action on several technological fronts, including maximizing the potential of digital innovations. AI is being leveraged to address global challenges in poverty prediction, deforestation, healthcare, weather and early warning, and conservation.

This is made possible by using a cross-sector and inter-disciplinary approach between stakeholders in technology, government, business, academia, and civil society. These collaborations are necessary to accelerate and scale AI solutions that address the SDGs.

Our aim is to connect AI innovators with private and public-sector stakeholders and foster collaborations that promise impact.

The 4th 

industrial revolution has arrived and includes cognitive systems that use big data analysis and subsets of AI.

Our focus 

 

In our efforts to advance the SDGs, part of our work is focused on creating a community of organizations that are using AI to solve global problems.

We have issued an open call to stakeholders from around the world to submit their projects on how AI could help address societal challenges. 

 

Our Research Hub showcases initiatives that consider inclusive design, development, implementation, and use of AI applications in tackling socio-ecological challenges.

 

Researchers, organizations, and practitioners should join the Hub in order to connect with one another, share knowledge, collaborate, and build capacity.

 

We envision this community expanding within and outside of Canada for the purpose of sharing best practices on the topic of AI for SDGs.

ESG 

data is one area our researchers are utilizing AI such as NLP and ML to uncover more accurate, real-time, and predictive analytics for responsible investing and sustainability disclosure initiatives.

© 2020 AI For SDGs Canada