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WASP-HS Event: AI’s Role in the Sustainable Development Goals

Published: October 5, 2023

Participants at the AI for Humanity and Society 2023 workshops. Photo: Charlotte Carlberg

On October 4, 2023, The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) organized an online event titled “AI, Sustainability, and Agenda 2030”. The event gathered researchers and representatives from both private and public sectors to delve into the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the journey towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The afternoon commenced with a keynote speech by Ricardo Vinuesa, Associate Professor, Vice Director of KTH Digitalization Platform, and Lead Faculty at KTH Climate Action Centre, KTH Engineering Mechanics, Stockholm.

The online gathering featured three concurrent discussions, with Sabine Höhler, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Adam Wickberg, Docent of History of Science, Technology, and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, chairing a discussion on data collection and its significance in SDG attainment. Participants delved into the distinctions between data and knowledge, the processes of knowledge production, and the critical need to enhance data literacy for comprehending and communicating information effectively.

Ericka Johnson, Professor of Gender Studies at Linköping University, and Jonas Ivarsson, Professor in Informatics at the University of Gothenburg, led a discussion focused on AI and accountability concerning the SDGs. Topics included the broader environmental impact of AI, extending beyond energy consumption, and the complexities surrounding the allocation of responsibility and accountability at various governance levels in the realm of AI.

Pedro Sanches, Assistant Professor in Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University, and Teresa Almeida, Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction, facilitated a discussion on the future of sustainable healthcare. This discussion tackled issues such as the imperative for AI literacy within the medical and healthcare sectors, the beneficiaries of AI in healthcare, and the inclusivity of various human bodies in current healthcare data.

WASP-HS is actively working on compiling a comprehensive report in collaboration with the discussion chairs. This report, set to be available within the coming weeks, will provide valuable insights into the multifaceted discussions held during the event, offering a valuable resource for all stakeholders interested in the intersection of AI, sustainability, and the pursuit of the SDGs. See more information and access to the forthcoming report.