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Inclusive AI: The AI Revolution Could Leave the Most Vulnerable Behind - Unless We Take Action

The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) presents amazing opportunities to improve lives. However, the benefits have so far gone predominantly to the privileged. As the AI revolution progresses, we must take steps to make it more inclusive.

A homeless man holds a sign saying 'Seeking Human Kindness'
How can AI help the most vulnerable in our society?

Millions Worldwide Still Lack AI Access

Too many vulnerable groups are excluded from AI tools that could empower them. An estimated 10% of U.S. adults remain offline. Globally, nearly half the population has no internet access to leverage AI chatbots, analytics and more. Even many with access lack the digital skills to take advantage.

AI Start-ups Not Focusing on Those in Need

The majority of AI start-ups cater to corporate interests, not underserved populations. Of the top 100 AI start-ups in 2022, only a handful developed AI solutions specifically for disadvantaged communities. This leaves major gaps in tools for social good.

Wealthy Early Adopters Gain AI Advantages

As with most emerging tech, wealthy individuals and companies are the first to benefit from AI innovations. For example, autonomous vehicles are out of reach for lower income groups. AI medical tools are piloted at prestigious hospitals first. This cycle reinforces inequalities.

Inaccessible AI Designs Shut Out Many Users

From biased datasets to visual interfaces excluding the blind, current AI systems contain design barriers. Chatbots assume strong reading skills. By optimizing for narrow demographics, we leave behind others.

High Costs Prevent Broader AI Adoption

Even as AI costs drop, it remains expensive for lower income groups. Monthly fees for AI chatbots or analytics tools are prohibitive for many. Open source AI could help lower costs. But even hosting an open source model to train for altruistic purposes is incredibly expensive.

Turning the AI Revolution Into an Opportunity for All

If inclusive design, bias correction, and careful regulation steer its growth, the AI revolution can lift up society as a whole. AI developers should build accessible interfaces optimized for diverse users. Start-ups can develop AI solutions focused on social impact. Policymakers could fund AI resources at public institutions.

Inclusive AI: A Challenge for AI Techs:

Imagine you are homeless, with no money, perhaps you a substance abuse issue, or dyslexia. But you are giving a phone with internet access and a free subscription to OpenAI's ChatGPT. How would you use AI to change your life away from homelessness and build a better life? Or better yet, what tech can we as AI experts, build to improve our communities by supporting the vulnerable?

The AI revolution will shape our future. Let’s come together to ensure it benefits those who need it most.


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