Harnessing AI for Positive Social Impact
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By: Avasant


Each new technology sparks debate about its impact on employment. There are two contrasting perspectives. Optimists view the new technology as alleviating workers from the most grueling tasks, freeing them to do more meaningful work. Pessimists, on the other hand, sound alarms about widespread unemployment, especially for those at the bottom of the career ladder.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest new technology that is the subject of this debate, and this is especially of concern in marginalized and underserved communities, whether in prosperous countries or developing countries. These communities face challenges getting the education and resources they need to climb the career ladder, especially with digital skills training. Opportunities that exist are often lower-skilled jobs—exactly the jobs that AI might automate. So, will AI take those jobs away and worsen the disparities in opportunities? We do not see it that way. Although automation will no doubt take away some lower-level jobs, we believe that AI can help marginalized communities grow and prosper by positively impacting education, employment, and entrepreneurship. This report outlines how this will come about.

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