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Why It’s Critical to Democratize Artificial Intelligence

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By Bruce H. Andrews, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Intel


Bruce-Andrews2.jpg Bruce H. Andrews, Chief Government Affairs Officer

This week, I am honored to help kick off the inaugural Intel AI Global Impact Festival. The two-week event brings together government, academia and students from across the globe to celebrate the excellence of future developers who are solving real-world problems using artificial intelligence (AI). Intel believes every student has the potential to learn and use AI to solve the world’s greatest challenges. That’s why the theme for this year’s festival is “Enriching Lives with AI Innovation” – to inspire fostering human-centric responsible AI and drive the democratization of AI for all.

AI is all around us, offering endless possibilities across many aspects of our lives, and is estimated to drive a $15 trillion gain in global GDP by 2030. Currently, only a select group of people understand AI – far fewer than those impacted by it – because learning opportunities are often restricted to only large companies and top universities. As jobs become increasingly digital in our global economy, the most significant barrier to AI adoption is the AI talent and skills gap that every country is facing.

This skills gap is driving a massive need for reskilling and education initiatives to expand access to AI-related fields, and leaders should work together to create platforms and opportunities to diversify the industry. The democratization of AI and responsible usage by all, especially next-generation technologists, is critical to the growth of countries, industries and societies. When built and used responsibly, AI innovations can enrich lives, create jobs and drive economic prosperity. We must train and empower the future workforce to learn how to use AI responsibly and effectively, irrespective of geography, gender or ethnicity. Only then will the true democratization of AI take place.

For the past several years, governments worldwide have been developing strategies to shape public policy to maximize the benefits of AI for their people and economies while mitigating any potential disruptions. But the challenges of AI adoption are bigger than any one government, industry or company can address on its own. It will take the whole of our technology ecosystem and coordination of the world’s governments to realize the full promise of AI.

At Intel, making technology inclusive and expanding digital readiness are key components of our RISE strategy – a commitment to expand digital readiness to reach 30 million people in 30,000 institutions in 30 countries. We have launched digital readiness programs globally with government and academic stakeholders to empower broad, non-technical audiences with the appropriate tools to use technology impactfully and responsibly in an AI-powered world. These programs address various government needs, such as creating public awareness, preparing government leaders, providing learning opportunities for students, and current and future workforce skilling on AI.

For example, our AI for Youth program empowers high school students in 20 countries to learn and apply AI skills in an inclusive way. Our AI for Workforce program has recently expanded to additional community colleges in the U.S., embracing a variety of students from underrepresented groups and those looking for reskilling opportunities. This program is being implemented in 18 community colleges in 11 U.S. states to train the future and current workforce with the AI skills needed for high-tech jobs of the future.

Intel’s digital readiness programs are only the beginning, and we can’t do this alone. We need trusted, sustainable and scalable partnerships with stakeholders in governments, academia, community and local industries to truly democratize AI skills and foster workforce readiness together.