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Artificial Intelligence Toolkit Helps Companies Protect Society and Their Business

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The global spend on artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to hit $52 billion in the next three years and to double the annual growth rates of major economies in the next 15. Approximately 29 countries have created national AI policies to mitigate the potential risks, but there are only a handful companies that have openly talked of doing the same.

“Companies will play a significant role in how AI impacts society,” said Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of Artificial Intelligence at the World Economic Forum. “Yet, our research found that many executives and investors do not understand the full scope of what AI can do for them and what parameters they can set to ensure the use of the technology is ethical and responsible.”

To help boards tackle this challenge, the World Economic Forum worked with more than 100 companies and technology experts during the course of a year to develop the Empowering AI Toolkit. Built with the structure of the board meeting in mind, the toolkit aligns 12 learning modules with traditional board committees and working groups. It aims to help companies make informed decisions about AI solutions that protect the customer and shareholders.

It is the first toolkit to provide common ground for companies worldwide to help prepare board members so they have a clearer understanding of the current landscape. It covers the board’s responsibilities specific to the module in question, and provides resources for further learning as well as a breakdown of oversight tools and case studies.

“AI is one of the biggest game changers for businesses, governments and society as a whole, and a huge source of opportunities to solve some of our most important challenges, said Elena Alfaro, Global Head of Data and Open Innovation, BBVA. “But the power that AI brings us has to come with similar take on responsibility from creators and users. This is why BBVA has collaborated with World Economic Forum in the development of this Toolkit, with the hope that it is widely spread and used.”

“Integrity, Ethics and risk management are boardroom matters which are directly impacted by AI”, said Jesus Mantas, Senior Managing Partner at IBM and board member at Biogen Inc. “Board directors have a duty to provide oversight to the enhancements required to integrity principles, ‘human in the loop’ policies, and risk management frameworks to include the effect of AI algorithms becoming the norm in every operational aspect of corporations. The AI Toolkit is a great way for directors to better understand their enhanced responsibilities.”

AI experts in collaboration with board members and key stakeholders from more than 100 companies in six countries designed Empowering AI Toolkit to ensure that it meets the specific needs of business leaders and can lead to practical action and tangible impact.

“Artificial intelligence is a tool in a corporate board’s toolkit,” Firth-Butterfield said. “Boards need to know when to deploy it and how it aligns with a company’s overall strategy. The board, as the custodian of a company’s long-term ethical approach to business and the overseer of strategy, has a critical agenda-setting and oversight role in this area.”

The Empowering AI Toolkit was created by the World Economic Forum with Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network Fellows from Accenture, BBVA, IBM and Suntory Holdings. Among the many others who contributed to its development were AI4All, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Best Practice AI, Latham & Watkins, Saudi Aramco and Splunk.

Collaborator quotes:

“Having such a toolkit is not a luxury,” said Nabil Al Nuaim, Chief Digital Officer of Saudi Aramco. “It’s a necessity to inform boards of directors of AI and its overarching effects. Using AI responsibly is one of the core tenants of our digital transformation program and we’re keen in partnering with Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network to expand the toolkit to guide c-suite level executives in their journey to plan, implement, and monitor AI in their respective companies.”

“As business races to capture the opportunities associated with AI and AI-driven tools, management and boards are charged with understanding and overseeing these transformative technologies and their impact,” said Karen Silverman, a Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. “We are pleased to partner with the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution on this essential toolkit, which provides easy-to-reference resources and strategies to support boards in this critical work.”

“As use of Artificial Intelligence rapidly becomes ubiquitous across the global economy, boards must understand the technology, its potential and its risks, said Leonard Stein, SVP Global Affairs, Splunk Inc. “The AI Toolkit provides a means for directors both to honor their fiduciary duties as well as identify new sources of business value.”

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Uzbek home appliance manufacturer Artel joins United Nations Global Compact

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This week, Artel Electronics LLC (Artel), Central Asia’s largest home appliance and electronics manufacturer, has become an official participant of the United Nation Global Compact (UNGC). Launched in 2000, the UNGC is a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible business practices. Artel becomes Uzbekistan’s third company to participate.

Artel joins over 10,000 companies worldwide, including Microsoft, Facebook and Nestlé, in affirming the Compact’s ten principles. These include a commitment to human rights, labour standards, sustainability, and anti-corruption.  The company will also seek opportunities to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As one of the country’s largest companies, Artel’s membership will provide significant momentum towards the alignment of the Uzbek private sector with international standards.

Furthermore, Artel has become a founding member of the Coalition of Business Champions for the Sustainable Development of Uzbekistan. Artel will use its position alongside coalition partners to promote placing environmental and social considerations at the heart of the country’s growth. This builds on the company’s significant work on water provision, gender equality and education.

Bektemir Murodov, CFO of Artel Electronics, said: “We are delighted to join the UN Global Compact and become part of such a proactive global community of businesses working towards sustainable development. As a large Uzbek company, we have a huge responsibility to promote sustainability as well as international labour standards, human rights and anti-corruption. This reaffirms our commitment to these principles. 

We also know that this is a great opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading companies, and we look forward to taking an active part in the conversation around how to promote the SDGs in Uzbekistan.”

Becoming a participant of the UNGC is the next step in Artel’s ESG development. The company has restructured its corporate governance to align with international best practice, and continually works to increase the efficiency of its products and reduce the environmental impact of its operations. Artel also has significant social projects that focus on water access and education. Most recently, Artel promoted the UN’s 16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and will soon launch a Women’s Development Programme with a legal clinic to promote legal literacy and gender equality.

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World Bank Provides $100 Million to Accelerate Rwanda’s Digital Transformation

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The World Bank Group today approved $100 million in financing under the International Development Association’s (IDA) Scale Up Window to help the Government of Rwanda increase access to broadband and selected digital public services, and strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem in Rwanda.  

The new Digital Acceleration Project will support the government to expand digital access and adoption by spearheading a series of innovative digital access and inclusion initiatives, including supporting 250,000 households with financing to help acquire smart devices as well as training three million people in basic digital literacy (with targets for girls and women).

The project will also enhance the government’s digital service capabilities by equipping it with the ability to harness the power of big data and develop at least 30 new or upgraded digital services through large-scale investments in shared digital standards, platforms, and infrastructure. These will enable the government to safely scale more fully transactional and remote service delivery, including enrolling and issuing new digital ID credentials to 75 percent of the population. Finally, the project will increase Rwanda’s capacity to support digitally enabled innovation by strengthening the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, developing Rwanda’s digital talent base and helping tech firms to move from startup to growth. At least 300 digital start-ups will be directly supported by the project, with a focus on those that are female-owned.

Expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery and promoting digitally enabled innovation are essential for Rwanda’s digital transformation which can in turn help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “The Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project encompasses all these elements and will contribute to Rwanda’s vision to become a knowledge-based economy and upper middle-income country by 2035, by leveraging digital technologies to accelerate growth and poverty reduction.”

The project will also support Rwanda’s efforts to crowd in private sector investment in digital inclusion initiatives, digital infrastructure and through support for digital innovation and entrepreneurship – with the goal of preparing the country for a data-driven and e-service based economy capable of supporting sustainable recovery in a post-COVID-19 context.

For Rwanda to leverage digital transformation as a driver of growth, job creation and greater service delivery, digital adoption needs to markedly improve. This project will help Rwanda tackle the affordability of digital devices and services, but also bridge lingering basic digital literacy gaps, to increase local demand for digitally-enabled services and platforms,” said Isabella Hayward, World Bank Digital Development Specialist, and Task Team Leader of the project. “The project will also support the GoR’s aspirations of providing 24-hour, cashless, paperless and fully transactional Government-to-Government, Government-to-Business, and Government-to-Person e-services both at the central government and sectoral levels.”

The project will be co-financed in the amount of $100 million by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which Rwanda is a non-regional member. This will be the AIIB’s second investment in Rwanda, and the first digital project investment financing to be co-financed with the AIIB.

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The City of Ideas platform is a unique opportunity to make the city comfortable

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The Moscow City of Ideas platform is a platform where citizens can propose ideas for solving various issues related to the life of the capital and vote for proposals selected by experts.

Ideas with the largest number of votes are implemented in the city. Over the seven years of such projects, more than 270 thousand Muscovites have sent about 112 thousand ideas for the development of urban infrastructure. More than four thousands of them were selected by experts for further study, over three thousand ideas have already been implemented.

The citizens took part in projects like “My Park”, “Electronic House”, “Moscow Central Diameters”, “Moscow child health center”, “Museums of Moscow” and much more. Thanks to the proposed ideas, new public transport routes have appeared, a Moscow standard for children’s recreation has been developed, public service centers, children’s and adult clinics, libraries, and parks have been transformed.

After modernization, the City of Ideas platform has become more user-friendly. Citizens themselves propose suggestions of improving the platform. 12 thousand residents of the capital took part in the project. They proposed with over 600 ideas. The implementation plan included 121 of them, some have already been implemented.

Today, the platform provides short video instructions and materials explaining how to use platform. This will help both beginners and advanced users. Now citizens can submit their ideas directly from the platform’s main page. When sending a photo attached to the text.

The modernization also affected the voting process: the ideas that pass the expert selection will be presented in a single list. You don’t need to go to each page for grading.

And most importantly, the City of Ideas platform today has a modern design. These changes were suggested and supported by the citizens.

This service is available to individuals, representatives of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.

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