Two highly respected Jamaican leaders in the local, regional and global digital, media and regulatory spaces will be among more than 40 international experts to address the virtual 3rd Annual Artificial Intelligence for Information Accessibility (AI4IA) Conference next Wednesday (September 28) to commemorate the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).
The conference will raise a range of issues, including AI localism, the use of AI to overcome disabilities, ethical digital transformation, the intersection of AI, Art and Creativity, and AI, Law and Ethics.
Participants from such countries as India, Singapore, Kuwait, South Korea, France, Finland, Columbia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Chile and South Africa will hear presentations from Cordel Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission, who is a vice chairman of the UNESCO Information For All Programme (IFAP) and chairman of the UNESCO IFAP Working Group on Information Accessibility, as well as Jamaican Dr Ricardo Anderson, academic and consultant in research and development of Intelligent Systems, with more than 19 years’ experience integrating data knowledge into software systems.
However, maybe the most anticipated speakers will be two children including 11-year-old Carter Bonas from Florida, who founded Spectrum Golf Apparel, under the brand Spectrum Golf, together with Spectrum Vitamin Water at age 10.
Considered to be ‘highly functioning on the Autism Spectrum Scale’, he started a non-profit organisation to offer free golf lessons to youth.
The other child speaker will be Singapore high school student, Winston Ng, who is co-founder and CEO of Finute, a metaverse technology company that develops immersive virtual experiences. He works with multi-national corporations, SMEs and government agencies to bring their ideas to life.
Other speakers from across the world will include Dr Rahul Kushwah, an accomplished scientist and co-founder of an outcome-oriented technology company in Canada, which develops proprietary geospatial artificial intelligence technologies and platforms. On the programme too will be Professor Lidia Arthur Brito, a forest engineer and UNESCO regional director for Southern Africa; Addie Cooke, the AI Public Policy Lead at Google Cloud; Isabela Ferrari, Brazilian Federal Judge and researcher in the field of law, technology and algorithmic bias regulation; Professor Andrew Maynard, a scientist and author who studies the future and how our actions influence it; Dr Anna Poalini, director, UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and Samridhi Arora, a seasoned advocate practising before the Supreme Court in India and Chairman of the A141A Conference Organising Committee.
Commenting on the purpose of the conference, Green, who is also chairman of the UNESCO IFAP Working Group on Information Accessibility, said: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly all around us and very much influencing what we read, see, hear, think about, and do. But AI is a tool. It is not our saviour or master. So, we can – and must – insist on AI development, deployment and access which is respectful of human rights and protects the most vulnerable (particularly children). It must be used to preserve our democratic and cultural traditions, not work against them as we are seeing with fake news and other forms of dis-information.”
He continued: “This is a conference for regular people, so we can all understand the power of AI – for good or bad. With that knowledge we can then insist on ethical AI development that comports with freedom of expression, respects the value of preserving free choice, enables universal access to information, enhances the quality of journalism, enhances cultural and linguistic diversity, and used in a manner which respects our right to privacy, while mitigating against disinformation and consumer manipulation. However, none of this will happen in an environment of low levels of digital literacy, information inequity and a huge divide between digital elites and ordinary citizens.”
Jamaica is a very active UNESCO member state and sits on the UNESCO Executive Board, represented by Olivia Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, who is also the chairperson of the Jamaica National Commission For UNESCO.