Investing in Data for Public Good

Key Insights from Philip Thigo

During the launch of our AI4SDG centre, Philip Thigo, a UN High Level Advisory Board Member on AI, delivered an inspiring keynote speech. He emphasized the crucial need to invest in data not for profit, but for the public good. Thigo highlighted several key points:

Data Investment for Public Good

Thigo stressed the importance of investing in data collection and utilization to benefit society. He advocated for the use of artificial intelligence to employ proxy indicators for gathering essential data sets.

Critical Components: Data, Talent, and Compute

Thigo identified three critical components necessary for advancing AI and data initiatives:

  • Data: Emphasizing the need to digitize everything, from languages to various forms of information, to harness the power of big data.
  • Talent: Highlighting the urgent requirement to train highly skilled talent in machine learning and augmented intelligence.
  • Compute: Pointing out the lack of computing resources in the continent, noting that only Morocco has a supercomputer. He called for the development of a shared computing architecture across countries.

Strategic Approach

Thigo advocated for a smarter approach to data and AI initiatives, focusing on creating infrastructure and training programs to bridge the current gaps.

His speech underscored the necessity of collective efforts to build a robust data and AI ecosystem that can drive sustainable development and public welfare.

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