NAIXUS founding partners meet at the Deep Learning Indaba 2023

The NAIXUS project (Network of Excellence on AI and the United Nations SDGs) convened a significant meeting during the Deep Learning Indaba 2023. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the progress of the project, share insights, and plan future actions to strengthen the network’s impact on advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through artificial intelligence (AI) research. K4A is a founding partner of the NAIXUS network.

Key Discussion Points:

  1. Project Overview: The meeting began with an overview of the NAIXUS project’s objectives and milestones achieved since its inception. The project aims to connect AI researchers worldwide to collaborate on SDG-related research, advocate for ethical AI practices, and contribute to policy discussions.
  2. Membership and Collaboration: Members discussed the growth of the NAIXUS network and the importance of expanding its reach to include researchers from diverse geographical regions and fields of expertise. Participants emphasized the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration to address complex sustainability challenges effectively.
  3. Research Focus Areas: The meeting highlighted the key research focus areas within the project, including healthcare, climate action, poverty reduction, and education. Members presented their ongoing research projects related to these themes and shared preliminary findings.
  4. Data Accessibility: Data accessibility emerged as a critical topic of discussion. Members discussed strategies for promoting open data sharing, building partnerships with organizations possessing relevant data sets, and ensuring data privacy and security in AI research.
  5. Policy and Advocacy: The NAIXUS project’s advocacy efforts were discussed, including engagement with policymakers and international organizations. Members shared success stories and outlined plans for future advocacy initiatives to influence AI policy in alignment with the SDGs.
  6. Ethical AI Guidelines: The meeting acknowledged the importance of ethical considerations in AI research. A working group was established to draft a set of ethical guidelines for AI researchers working on SDG-related projects, with a commitment to responsible AI development.

Outcomes and Next Steps:

  1. Continued Collaboration: Members further committed to strengthening collaboration within the NAIXUS network. Plans were made to organize webinars, workshops, and virtual conferences to facilitate knowledge exchange and foster partnerships.
  2. Research Publication: The network emphasized the significance of publishing research findings in reputable journals and conferences to contribute to the academic discourse on AI for SDGs. Members pledged to submit their work to relevant outlets.
  3. Academic Journal: Plans were discussed to finalise and launch a centralized repository accessible to researchers working on SDG projects. This resource will help address academic excellence in the field of machine learning and development.
  4. Advocacy Campaign: A dedicated advocacy campaign was proposed to engage with policymakers and raise awareness about the role of AI in advancing the SDGs. Members will work together to create policy briefs and position papers.

The NAIXUS project meeting at Deep Learning Indaba 2023 was a productive and collaborative gathering of AI researchers committed to addressing the United Nations’ SDGs through responsible and ethical AI research. The outcomes of the meeting, including continued collaboration, research publication, advocacy efforts, and data accessibility initiatives, will contribute significantly to the project’s mission and its impact on global sustainable development efforts. The project remains dedicated to fostering a global network of researchers working together to harness the power of AI for the betterment of society and the achievement of the SDGs.

Workshop at the Deep Learning Indaba 2023: “Building a Global Network of AI Researchers On AI and the United Nations SDGs”

K4A as a core member in the Network of Excellence NAIXUS; a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at bridging the gap between AI and sustainable development co-hosted a meeting and a workshop in Accra, Ghana. Both events were held as part of the Deep Learning Indaba 2023 Forum on September 8 and 9 and were co-hosted by the NAIXUS members from Africa.

The Deep Learning Indaba 2023 featured a dynamic workshop titled “Building a Global Network of AI Researchers on AI and the United Nations SDGs.” The workshop aimed to foster collaboration among AI researchers and practitioners to address the challenges posed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Held at the Indaba, this workshop brought together Indaba attendees from diverse backgrounds to discuss, share insights, and develop strategies for harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to advance the SDGs.

Key workshop Themes and Discussions:

  1. The Role of AI in SDGs: The workshop began with an exploration of the fundamental role AI can play in achieving the SDGs. Participants discussed how AI can be applied to areas such as healthcare, education, poverty alleviation, and climate change mitigation. The consensus was that AI has immense potential to drive progress in these critical areas.
  2. Challenges and Ethical Considerations: A substantial part of the workshop focused on the challenges and ethical considerations associated with AI in SDG-related projects. Concerns related to bias in AI algorithms, data privacy, and transparency were addressed. Participants stressed the importance of adhering to ethical AI principles to avoid exacerbating existing inequalities.
  3. Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: The workshop emphasized the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration. It highlighted that addressing the complex challenges of the SDGs requires expertise from various fields, including computer science, social sciences, and policy-making. Building a global network of researchers from these diverse backgrounds was recognized as essential.
  4. Data Sharing and Accessibility: Ensuring access to high-quality data emerged as a critical issue. Participants discussed the importance of open data-sharing initiatives and the development of AI models that can work with limited data resources, especially in underserved regions.
  5. Policy and Advocacy: Policymaking and advocacy for AI in SDG implementation were also key topics. Participants discussed the importance of influencing policy frameworks to ensure AI is used responsibly to advance the SDGs. Advocacy efforts and partnerships with governments and international organizations were encouraged.

The “Building a Global Network of AI Researchers on AI and the United Nations SDGs” workshop at Deep Learning Indaba 2023 provided a platform for robust discussions and concrete actions. It underscored the importance of AI in addressing the SDGs and the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, ethical considerations, and responsible policymaking. The outcomes of the workshop pave the way for a more coordinated and impactful approach to utilizing AI for sustainable development globally.

K4A funding member of new AI network in AI an sustainable development

Knowledge 4 All Foundation is part of a newly established Network of AI Excellence Centres in Sustainable Development (NAIXUS).

The networks founding members also include the UNESCO Chair in Analytics and Data Science at University of Essex (ES), UNESCO Chair in AI & Data Science at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), and the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society – CETIC (Brazil) under the auspices of UNESCO.

The initial partners are coming from Slovenia, Australia, Andorra, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, UK and USA.

NAIXUS was launched as multi-stakeholder initiative with the goal of bridging the gap between AI and sustainable development at the side event of the STI 2022 Forum on May 4, 2022. Speakers at the event included Ambassador Boštjan Malovrh, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the UN in New York, Marielza Oliveira, Communications and Information Sector, IFAP Secretary, UNESCO, and John Shawe-Taylor, IRCAI Director.

The main part of the agenda consisted of short presentations introducing the history, goal, objectives, composition, activities, programmes and technological focus of the network with supporters and initial partners of the initiative to build this global network of excellence centres in sustainable development. The recording of the event is available here.

Launching a Global Network of AI Excellence Centres in Sustainable Development – Side Event At The Sti Forum – 7th Multi-Stakeholder Forum On Science, Technology And Innovation For The Sustainable Development Goals