Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enormous potential for global development and is already being widely explored as a means to tackle poverty and boost economies. In the health sector, AI technology is used to diagnose diseases such as dengue and zika, while in agriculture it is helping farmers identify pests and take action before yields suffer. In Senegal, authorities are addressing rapid urbanisation with pioneering new ‘smart cities’ where residents will live in connected homes and AI will control transport, waste management and even care services.
 
But worldwide there are concerns about the consequences of such technologies and their impact on privacy, security and human rights – and in developing countries these fears are amplified by a lack of infrastructure and regulation.
 
In this Spotlight we look at how AI is being used in the context of international development and ask what needs to be done to ensure its potential is fulfilled in a fair and sustainable way.