Wanted: AI-based pledges to connect the world

By Frederic Werner, ITU’s Chief of Strategy and Operations for AI for Good, and Alex Wong, ITU’s Senior Advisor on Strategic Engagement and Initiatives

Today, 2.6 billion people are offline. They are excluded from the life-changing opportunities that digital connectivity brings. Increasing affordable access to the Internet is a key challenge, but solutions must also address a myriad of gaps that keep people disconnected.

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers new possibilities to bring people online and fast-track meaningful participation in today’s global digital society.

AI-based solutions are helping produce or translate a rich and growing array of content into local languages. AI also permits low-code or no-code educational content development and enables people with disabilities to engage meaningfully on the Internet.

These are just a few ways AI can lower barriers, democratize access, and drive wider adoption of digital tools and services.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is intent on closing access gaps and unlocking people’s untapped potential worldwide.

Applying AI power to connect the unconnected

At the upcoming AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, history will be made when the power of AI is applied to the challenges of Internet access and adoption.

ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin has called the drive to connect everyone meaningfully “a defining challenge of our age.”

She is calling for pledges from the AI community.

Play the ITU Secretary-General’s video.

The AI for Good Impact Initiative and ITU’s Partner2Connect Digital Coalition are joining forces in a common call for pledges to help connect the unconnected.

The ITU-led pledging platform, launched two years ago, has now mobilized pledges worth over USD 46 billion to bring more people online.

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the mobile industry committed over USD 9 billion more to ITU’s call for universal and meaningful connectivity.

The call for AI-based pledges seeks to complement and fast-track to drive to connect everyone, everywhere.

We invite you to be part of this moment and submit your pledge by 23 May.

Validated pledges will be announced collectively at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva on 30-31 May 2024.

What to pledge?

Partner2Connect (P2C) is the global multi-stakeholder Digital Coalition for universal and meaningful connectivity. It provides a leadership platform to mobilize and announce new resources, partnerships, and commitments to get everyone online by 2030.

The platform is open for the submission of pledges by entities across all sectors that can commit to deliver quantifiable, concrete, real projects, programmes, policies, or financial contributions.

These include innovative uses of AI to increase access, whether through infrastructure networks or affordability, or on AI to fast-track adoption by boosting skills, digital inclusion, or relevant and local content and services.

Why pledge?

Commitments through Partner2Connect (P2C) will help bring the final one-third of the global population online.

Entities with validated pledges will be recognized through:

  • Collective acknowledgement in the ITU Secretary-General’s summit address.
  • Promotion via the P2C website and newsletter, ITU social media, and an ITU/P2C booth at the summit venue.
  • Positive exposure to other audiences via the AI for Good website, AI for Good Neural Network virtual exhibition, and AI for Good newsletter and social channels.
  • Visibility for potential speaking opportunities at selected P2C events and on the AI for Good year-round platform.
  • Engagement with the P2C community of 400+ entities committed to meaningfully connecting the unconnected.
  • Matchmaking opportunities via the P2C platform and the AI for Good Neural Network of 25K+ members.
How to pledge?

Visit the P2C website and complete the online pledge submission form, giving as much detail as possible about your pledge.

To learn more, download the flyer about the AI for Good Impact Initiative with Partner2Connect.

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