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The role of artificial intelligence in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Recently published article in NATURE by KTH researchers - including our Dr. Madeline Balaam

Published Jan 13, 2020

A joint publication by Ricardo Vinuesa (KTH), Hossein Azizpour (KTH), Iolanda Leite (KTH), Madeline Balaam (KTH), Virginia Dignum (Umeå University), Sami Domisch (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany), Anna Felländer (AI Sustainability Center, Sweden), Simone Daniela Langhans (University of Otago), Max Tegmark (MIT), and Francesco Fuso Nerini (KTH) has just recently been published in NATURE.


The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its progressively wider impact on many sectors requires an assessment of its effect on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using a consensus-based expert elicitation process, we find that AI can enable the accomplishment of 134 targets across all the goals, but it may also inhibit 59 targets. However, current research foci overlook important aspects. The fast development of AI needs to be supported by the necessary regulatory insight and oversight for AI-based technologies to enable sustainable development. Failure to do so could result in gaps in transparency, safety, and ethical standards.

Vinuesa, R., Azizpour, H., Leite, I. et al. The role of artificial intelligence in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Nat Commun 11, 233 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-14108-y