The general perception of artificial intelligence in the past few years hasn’t been that positive. For one, it is viewed as a threat to job opportunities for humans. There’s also the popular movie trope of AI becoming too autonomous that it ends up controlling or even attacking humanity. However, behind these concerns are real benefits of AI technology. Artificial intelligence has the potential to significantly benefit people in the undeveloped and developing world. It’s not just about creating smart digital assistants or autonomous interactive robots. It’s not just about the “hi-tech” conveniences and fancy gadgetry.
Making humanitarian aid and disaster relief more efficient with AI
One of the most important applications of AI is helping disaster relief become faster and more organized. This has been demonstrated in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. For the first time, AI was extensively used in a relief and humanitarian aid project. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) used artificial intelligence to pinpoint and map all social media posts related to the Nepal earthquake emergency needs, damage to infrastructure, and disaster response activities.
Artificial intelligence was employed to deal with the massive amounts of information coming from satellites, mobile devices, social media, and various other sources. These data pertain to the location of actual and potential victims, the identification of relief needs, terrain, property damage, and the availability of workers, among others.
AI-assisted disaster response operations have become more efficient because of the smart consolidation of a myriad of information. It made it easy to find the best routes to take when going to a calamity-struck site as the AI system determined the infrastructure damaged and those that are still usable. Digital maps were generated to help aid workers in providing the needed help promptly and safely. It became easier to work on at least three types of data (texts, images, and videos).
The system used by UN OCHA is referred to as AIDR (Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response). It is capable of learning from how it is being used and the data inputted into it, allowing it to identify humanitarian aid needs automatically, sort data (according to the following categories: urgent needs, response efforts, and infrastructure damage), and disseminate accurate and useful information. The more AIDR is used, the better it gets.
Providing dependable and tireless tutors to help students with their coursework
There are artificial intelligence systems that are not only capable of learning; they can also serve as teachers. In Africa, AI learning platforms have been made available to assist students with their coursework.
- One good example is Daptio, an adaptive learning platform that makes use of artificial intelligence to help students study remotely. It specializes in courses whose content, structure, and assessments are designed to adjust based on the strengths and weaknesses of the students. Daptio is designed to serve a learning model that is deemed best suited to a specific student.
- Another notable educational online service in Africa is Eneza Education, which is mainly a mobile-based platform. It provides lessons and assessments to more than 860,000 subscribers through SMS and web communication. Eneza also comes with various educational quizzes, a live “Ask-a-Teacher” feature, a dictionary, as well as offline access to Wikipedia.
Developing countries suffer from shortages of competent teachers and schools. People in these countries are not necessarily less intelligent, but they don’t fare well academically according to international standards mainly because of the lack of opportunities for learning, effective educators, and educational system inefficiencies. Integrating AI in education is seen as a viable solution in helping learners in developing countries catch up with the rest of the world.
Improvement of crop yields
In India, farmers turn to AI to boost crop production. Intrigued by how this works? It’s actually not that complicated as far as the farmers are concerned.
What happens is that an artificial intelligence powered system collects and analyzes big data to determine the best time for sowing seeds. International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a non-political and nonprofit organization, has collaborated with Microsoft to operate this system.
Farmers use the system as the AI Sowing App, which integrates the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite, Power B, and Machine Learning. The application delivers sowing advisories to farmers for free. There are no sensors or equipment to install. All the farmers need are phones capable of receiving text messages.
The sowing advisories sent to farmers include information on the best time for land preparation, sowing date, and fertilizer application. These details supplant the traditional methods that are based on predictions, which usually set the sowing date from early June to August, during the monsoon season. Unfortunately, farmers can no longer rely on traditional farming cycles because of changing weather patterns attributed to climate change.
The sowing schedules are determined based on calculations that factor in historical climate data in a three-decade range, from 1986 to 2015. Artificial intelligence is employed to figure out the moisture adequacy index (MAI) and the optimal sowing period. As far as the pilot deployment for farmers in India is concerned, the data are based on what is obtained from the Devanakonda area in Andhra Pradesh.
There are real-time and future MAI information generated by the system. Real-time MAI is determined according to the daily rainfall details recorded by the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society. Future MAI, on the other hand, is projected using weather forecasting models supplied by aWhere Inc.
Enhancing healthcare services
The famous saying “health is wealth” couldn’t be truer in poorer countries. When resources are minimal to nil, people can only count on their own bodies for survival. Becoming sick is a serious problem for those who could barely find adequate and nutritious food for themselves.
Artificial intelligence can play an essential role in making sure that illnesses are properly treated and prevented in resource-poor areas. The AI for Development community has observed actual instances of AI being used in development-deprived regions, which can be summarized as follows:
- Medical expert systems powered by AI help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions. In many places such as Nepal and Africa, human medical experts are rarely available. Physicians may need to consult with fellow doctors, particularly experts in specific fields. Artificial intelligence can fill the gap, providing the knowledge and analytical output doctors can use to come up with better diagnosis and treatment plans.
- Artificial intelligence can be used to predict disease outbreaks. By analyzing big data with the help of AI, healthcare providers have better chances of promptly controlling diseases. Certainly, it costs less to prevent epidemics as compared to undertaking mass treatment. It indubitably benefits people in poor countries if widespread infections don’t emerge at all.
Health is a vital aspect of a country’s progress. If high mortality rates for diseases are not addressed, it becomes a monumental task bringing progress to undeveloped and developing regions. Thanks to artificial intelligence, providing healthcare help is no longer as difficult as it was in the past.
Helping develop tech talents and opportunities
Artificial intelligence has the ability to hone skills useful in the tech industry. As mentioned, AI can be used for e-learning, an efficient way to educate people in poor areas bereft of the resources to support traditional education. Smart online learning platforms can be used to teach programming, coding, and other useful tech skills.
On the other hand, artificial intelligence also creates new opportunities for tech talents as it reshapes industries. The rise of AI is expected to change the way important sectors operate. AI-powered healthcare education, e-commerce, or governments mean more demand for tech talents.
AI can help tech talents and the tech industry thrive in developing countries. Thus, it stimulates development from within. It creates disruptive changes that open more opportunities for growth while providing the means to train the human resources needed in growing and changing industries.
Expediting economic development through skilled human resources
Artificial intelligence and automation are perceived to be threats to human jobs. Many will be displaced as industries automate and employ artificial intelligence to make processes more efficient. This sounds foreboding but it can be viewed as an opportunity to skip some steps towards industrialization. Why train people to do menial jobs when they can be educated with the help of AI-powered learning platforms to handle more complex and better-paying jobs? Instead of preparing human resources to become factory workers, they can be trained into entrepreneurs, web designers, app developers, engineers, or creatives—all with the help of artificial intelligence systems.
For technology to improve the state of undeveloped and developing countries, it’s not enough to supply the technology, resources, and services. Everything has to be efficiently undertaken. Providing humanitarian aid, education, healthcare assistance, and food production augmentation can be made more efficient by integrating AI technology to remove unnecessary processes, lower costs, and reduce the need for human volunteers, which is rather scarce and not easy to maintain.
Partner with us for your translation and interpreting needs
Artificial intelligence is a magnificent technology. However, for it to become useful among people with different languages, it’s necessary to have an excellent human translator or interpreter to bridge the language barrier.
Day Translations, Inc. has been providing topnotch language services in more than 100 language pairs to clients across the world. From translations to interpreting, localization, and transcription, our services serve numerous purposes. We can assist efforts in helping undeveloped countries by enabling clear communication. We can likewise assist AI development teams in understanding specific issues and addressing needs in areas where language differences are a hurdle. Give us a call by dialing 1-800-969- 6853 or reach us via email at Contact us. We are open 24/7 throughout the year.
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