As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is adding more value to an ever growing list of industries, the question is no longer why we should use AI, but how. Vienna based organisation Artificial Intelligence 4 Development Agency (AIDA) has the answer.
Once the far-fetched subject of sci-fi movies, Artificial Intelligence is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives, and current developments in the field herald an exciting new era of possibilities. Up to 65% of children starting school in 2020 will go on to hold jobs that do not currently exist – many resulting from AI and digital technologies.
But while technology continues to advance, millions of people are getting left behind. While the benefits of new technology are clear, lack of understanding and limited information about AI means that many are still unable to benefit from it. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), only half of the world’s population is connected to the internet, and just 31% of adults possess the sufficient problem solving skills needed to use the technology efficiently.
There is no doubt that with the right combination of education, skill and support, AI offers limitless opportunities. The question is, how do we make those opportunities accessible to all?
One tech nonprofit organisation has been established to answer that very question, and bring the powers of AI technology to a whole new audience.
Introducing: Artificial Intelligence 4 Development Agency (AIDA)
The Artificial Intelligence 4 Development Agency (AIDA) is a tech nonprofit founded in Vienna by Elena Gabriela Ardelean in 2019, and currently operates throughout Europe and the Middle East. Unlike other platforms and networks that have been established to promote the use of technology, AIDA is citizen-oriented and focuses on mind blending and skill sharing. The agency works to build resources and create the knowledge necessary to empower communities, in particular young people and women, to lead this important societal change, and prepare themselves for a brighter future.
AIDA’s co-founders joined forces in early 2019 to advocate for empowerment through technology, in particular for youth and women across the globe. In the process, they have realized there was a tremendous need in local communities for AI literacy to tackle disinformation around this topic and develop human capital. Since then, AIDA has expanded and operates in Europe and the Middle East.
AIDA’s expert team is currently spread across eight countries and three continents, working with communities to raise awareness about AI and allow them to take advantage of its opportunities. The organisation was established with two main goals:
- To help bridge the digital divide for those that are disadvantaged through limited access to the internet, education, knowledge or other obstacles. AIDA’s main target groups are young people and women.
- To develop human capital by supporting communities locally and globally in understanding and using AI to their advantage, including understanding its ethical, moral and legal implications.
AIDA’s quest is to promote trustworthy, ethical AI for a social purpose, through projects that impact and empower low and middle-income countries. Since education plays a crucial role in creating wealthy, sustainable societies, the organisation is looking beyond literacy and numeracy programs to make AI and Machine Learning part of the global community education curriculum. As part of AIDA’s holistic learning programs, students are also given the opportunity to develop important skills in financial education, health education and much more.
This approach is aligned with the sustainable development agenda, in particular, SDG 8, 11 and 16. Artificial Intelligence has the potential of fostering affordable and decent working conditions, boosting the economic situation of a nation by creating job opportunities. AIDA’s mission is to support local and global communities by engaging with this topic, empowering them to discover how technology translates into their own lives.
AIDA was born out of a belief in the life changing possibilities that AI can bring to the world, and a desire to harness its power as part of a global family. This concept of community driven AI is at the heart of AIDA’s philosophy, and we are already seeing how it can work in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the world at the time of writing. AI is a powerful tool in tackling diseases, but as with any technology, it’s the human element that brings its possibilities to life.
A Strong Partner
AIDA was the first organisation to pioneer social awareness and research about AI in the MENA & GCC regions. The team takes a multi-stakeholder approach, engaging with businesses, academia and government bodies to raise awareness and initiate discussions on as broad a level as possible. In Kuwait, AIDA has partnered with local actors to take part in a global AI competition for families from 13 countries; that encourages parents, women and children to develop new skills and support their local communities.
As part of the program, families have been invited to identify an issue in their community (e.g. being bullied at school, waste management etc) and submit an AI innovation that they develop themselves during the training program. To date the competition has received 250 submissions, reaching 20% of the population and elevating Kuwait’s presence in the global AI community. One of the participating families from Kuwait has won the competition for the junior category, and the family and representatives from AIDA have been invited to Boston, MIT to present the idea.
Collaboration Opportunities with AIDA – Bring AI to your community
As a non-profit operating in an environment that is changing rapidly, AIDA faces many challenges: resources, visibility, technical and outreach. The management team is currently working on a Knowledge Platform developed on a multi-dimensional algorithm to help people understand AI and develop essential skills for the future. This exciting new platform is completely new and will be one of a kind when the project reaches fruition, presenting a significant opportunity for donors and organisations who want to be part of something truly groundbreaking.
AIDA CEO & Founder: Elena Gabriela Ardelean
AIDA’s CEO & Founder, Elena Gabriela Ardelean, said, “As reflected in this fledgling project, our entire approach is revolutionary and unique, taking place at the intersection between technology, people, businesses and governments. We believe Artificial Intelligence represents a global challenge and an excellent opportunity for wide engagement to prepare citizens for the future of work, whilst also tackling disinformation.”
As passionate advocates of community driven AI, this is an organisation focused on leveraging human capital and building trust, both on a local scale and around the world.
AIDA is doing essential work that will enable up to 16% of the total global population (1.2 billion youth aged 15 to 24 years) to come together to address the re-skilling revolution. By working together and ensuring that all sectors of society have access to the right combination of skills and education, we can create truly life changing technologies that make the world a better place.
For More Information on Artificial Intelligence 4 Development Agency
To find out more about AIDA’s work and plans for the future, visit the organisation’s website at https://ai4da.com/.