As artificial intelligence (AI) sprouts new learning abilities, nations are working on strategies to govern it, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU is hosting the two-day summit to showcase a bevy of new technologies, including a range of robots who can handle everything from healthcare to rock music.
Aimed at connecting visionaries with an array of UN (United Nations) organisations and investors focused on sustainable development, the UN-driven event provides a chance to empower these innovators to tackle global challenges, including the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“We have to engage and ensure a responsible future with AI,” explains ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin.
Robots enhancing social good
To help with that, the Global Summit’s guestlist features 51 robots, including nine humanoid robots, equipped to help people with functions in line with the SDGs.
Robots like Grace can support people’s health and well-being, provide high-quality educational services, reduce inequalities by helping persons with disabilities, reduce waste, help build infrastructure, and enhance social good, according to the UN telecommunications agency.
The advanced humanoid healthcare robot, Grace can recognise emotions, shows perpetual empathy, and understands more than 100 languages, according to media reports.
Intially developed in partnership with Hanson Robotics and SingularityNET, Grace is “the world’s foremost nursing assistant robot”, made to provide support and care for the elderly. But, she can be used as nursing support in any healthcare or home setting, according to ITU.
Sophia is the initial robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Built by Hanson Robotics, Sophia personifies dreams for the future of AI, according to ITU.
As a combination of science, engineering, and artistry, Sophia is simultaneously a human-crafted science fiction character depicting the future of AI and robotics, and a platform for advanced robotics and AI research, the UN agency says.
Aside from the role of UNDP Innovation Ambassador, Sophia has appeared on such television programmes as the Tonight Show and Good Morning Britain. She has also spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world, including at UN headquarters in New York.
Ameca, developed by Engineered Arts, represents a platform to explore how machines can live with, collaborate, and enrich humanity in tomorrow’s sustainable communities, according to ITU.
Integrating both AI and AB (artificial body) for advanced, iterative technologies that deliver motion and gestures, Ameca has a human form and robotic visage designed to make it a non-threatening, gender-neutral presence.
Assistive robots are enhancing human lives in multiple ways, according to the UN agency. Using machine learning and AI, these robots offer support in mobility, communication, self-care, and other essential daily tasks, giving people who need it renewed confidence and autonomy.
Help wanted: AI for SDGs
Some robots are designed to tackle broader social and environmental challenges. In the face of rising climate risks and other disasters, skilled disaster-assistance robots are modernising emergency response.
Others are enhancing food preparation to ensure health and sustainability while avoiding food waste.
Amid global population growth, robots could also become key allies for humanity in addressing long-term development challenges, according to ITU.
Efficient construction robots, for instance, could pave the way to providing sustainable and affordable housing for everyone. Robots focused on enhancing urban logistics and transportation, meanwhile, could lay the groundwork for greener, safer, and more inclusive living in the megacities of the future, the UN agency says.
Other robots visiting the Global Summit include: Nadine, a humanoid social robots, created by the University of Geneva; Geminoid, a humanoid robot by Hiroshi Ishiguro from Japan; and 4NE-1, among the advanced cognitive humanoid robots, designed by Neura Robotics to collaborate with humans.
On the cultural side, Ai-Da Robot, a robot artist, designed by Aidan Meller, and Desdemona, the “rockstar” robot of the Jam Galaxy Band, are also expected to make appearances at the Summit.
Learn more about the AI For Good Global Summit and the work of ITU here.
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