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A.I.-driven solutions 'can improve our health care, reduce poverty, combat climate change, mitigate crime'

By KEILE CAMPBELL

kcampbell@tribunemedia.net

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) will be a tool the Bahamas Government plans to use in the future, according to Parliamentary Secretary of Economic Affairs Wayde Watson, who teased an app that is in development currently that utilises AI.

Mr Watson delivered the keynote address at a ceremony celebrating World Consumer Rights Day, using the opportunity to speak about the advantages of AI, particularly its advantages to consumers, listing industries such as medicine, transportation, scientific research, and finance, adding that AI technology can help towards the world’s most pressing challenges.

“By developing artificial intelligence-driven solutions, we can improve our health care, reduce poverty, combat climate change and mitigate crime-related incidences,” Mr Watson said.

While he spoke positively about the dormant potential of AI in making life easier, more efficient, and enjoyable in ”countless ways”, he also issued a caution to his audience – made up by many schoolchildren attending the World Consumer Rights Day ceremony.

“As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, it is essential we consider its ethical implications. In other words, AI can be both good and bad,” he said. “Therefore, we must ensure that as consumers, we use AI in a good way and not so much an evil way. And as AI continues to develop and mature, we can expect to see even more groundbreaking applications emerge in years to come.”

Mr Watson said he expects AI to have a particular impact in the consumer sector, mentioning that AI-powered technology has the potential to personalise shopping experiences by way of AI-powered recommendation engines helping consumers find products and services tailored to their needs and preferences.

He spoke about AI’s ability to improve customer service and satisfaction while name-dropping Apple’s virtual assistant Siri and ChatGPT which both utilise AI to solve user questions.

He also raised concerns about using AI considering that artificial intelligence is still early in its global development.

“It is vital that we must move forward to ensure that artificial intelligence is fair and unbiased and that they do not discriminate against certain products or people. It is important to protect the consumer’s privacy, in other words, don’t use artificial intelligence to probe on others privacy. We must be fair and responsible. It is crucial that we prioritize areas of methods, our digital fairness, protections from misinformation and transparency,” the economic affairs parliamentary secretary said.

While the common thought is that AI is expected to make aspects of life easier, it may also threaten job security in the region, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) estimating that job automation rates in the region could reach 36-43 per cent by 2030, according to an article by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Michelle Muschet and UNDP Chief Digital Officer Robert Opp.

The article also revealed that, according to data, “the uptake of AI in industries in LAC shows that our region is already lagging behind global adoption rates” and recommended that the region “must continue to invest in STEM education in schools while preparing its workforce.”

Comments

bahamianson 3 months, 1 week ago

Government cannot keep the light on, wifi constantly is interrupted, fiber internet cannot reach out west. The bus system is in disarray, the public schools have a f average, teen pregnancy is high, young men leave school without diplomas, police officers are corrupt , we need a new hospital, we need a new prison, pot holes are everywhere, the nurses want more money, the toilets at the strawmarket are clogged, and you want to do what,now? Government take your head out of your behind . Stop fighting someone else's battle. Get plastic and.pennies back. America is still using pennies and plastic , as well as the rest of the world . Wr are stuck on stupid.

K4C 3 months, 1 week ago

Well said, the PLP and FNM are masters of deception

Porcupine 3 months, 1 week ago

Some of the most brilliant minds in the world, the very ones who are developing Artificial Intelligence, are warning that AI could backfire and lead to the human species extinction. We desperately need more thinkers in this country. We are lagging far, far behind. The day has come when we need to make politicians and pastors irrelevant in major national decisions where true scholarship and critical thinking is needed. Clearly, we must be humble and realize that we have for too many decades failed to cultivate a thinking population here in the Bahamas. We seem clueless in understanding the monumental changes occurring on a global scale. Neither the ignorant politicians nor the illiterate pastors want a populace that can think clearly. A thinking person would quickly come to the very real conclusion that either of these two groups only want power and money for themselves. At this rate, the only benefit from AI is for those in power in this country to wield more control over the rest of us. If you doubt the level of intelligent inquiry of our nation, simply read the comments in this paper for a few weeks.

Porcupine 3 months, 1 week ago

"Mr Watson delivered the keynote address at a ceremony celebrating World Consumer Rights Day, using the opportunity to speak about the advantages of AI, particularly its advantages to consumers, listing industries such as medicine, transportation, scientific research, and finance, adding that AI technology can help towards the world’s most pressing challenges." With all due respect, what AI has done best thus far, is turning consumers into the product. Quite clearly, we are over our heads. I am sure Mr. Watson means well, but quite obviously hasn't done his scholarly homework. The most recent warnings over AI by some of the world's foremost AI developers certainly suggests we should be treating AI as much as a possible threat, as embracing it as a pot of gold for those at the top to benefit from.

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 1 week ago

Dont worry, it's only a chatbot. But it doesnt sound as sexy to announce in 2024 that we're innovating by creating a chatbot. In 2 years, or less, I guarantee people will be complaining about the nonsense responses they're receiving to their questions and asking to speak to a real person.

Our real question is how much we paid for another nobid contract?

ohdrap4 3 months, 1 week ago

They like to use that's big and long and don't know that what they say is wrong.

Whatever happened to blockchain. All they could talk about was blockchain a few years ago . A chip you carry with your encrypted medical history, connected to buy pharma so they know what you take.

Now AI will give you wrong prescription .

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 1 week ago

Correct. The words come out of graduate theses. Someone comes up with a catchy phrase to describe something that exists but has a slightly new twist and it becomes the "thing". Noone to date has found a single useful application for blockchain that cant already be done. Back in the 80's AI used to be called "expert systems", now we have "AI" to make the "smart young people" feel smarter. Likely this "AI" is a chatbot, decades old technology.

themessenger 3 months, 1 week ago

All very valid points, on the other hand AI or any other form thereof might be preferable to the stupendous lack of intelligence we’re currently saddled with.

rosiepi 3 months, 1 week ago

I’d already assumed Davis & Co of using artificial intelligence every time they spoke from their alternate reality!

SP 3 months, 1 week ago

No one could possibly imagine 50 years of Haitians invading the Bahamas and the PLP and FNM still have absolutely "no intelligence" on the biggest, boldest, ongoing human smuggling operation in the Western hemisphere!

The PLP and FNM certainly could use AI. in fact intelligence from "any" source would be a 100% improvement above what we now suffer.

ThisIsOurs 3 months, 1 week ago

The biggest tell was the minister of foreign affairs saying a few weeks ago ~"we need the labour". Extremely odd

SP 3 months ago

What minister of foreign affairs said a few weeks ago ~"we need the labour" left out one word.

"CHEAP LABOUR"!

ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

but extremely odd for a minister of foreign affairs to almost poo poo the threat of illegal immigration. Ive always wondered who exactly was profiting from the illegal racket in forged documents and why it never gets resolved. Also why Shame was so interested in getting back into politics.

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