Ministerial Conference: Responsible Use of AI to Ensure Equitable and Last-Person Access in DPI

On 30th October, 2023 a Ministerial Conference as a subsidiary event of the international conference titled “DPI and AI for #ZeroDigitalDivide” was jointly organized by Aspire to Innovate (a2i) of the Government of Bangladesh and UNDP Bangladesh. During the Conference, global leaders gathered to address the complex promises and challenges arising from the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into society.

The Ministerial Conference delved into discussions on the promises, challenges, and ethical dilemmas associated with AI integration into modern life. It aimed to create a harmonious roadmap for AI development, optimizing its potential for adoption and innovation while minimizing risks. Concerns about job losses, unethical use, and increased inequality were addressed. The conference provided a platform for global leaders to share insights, strategies, and best practices, guiding nations on ethical AI deployment for economic empowerment while safeguarding citizens’ rights.

Key discussions at the ministerial conference were focused on the responsible use of AI, especially regarding Last-Person Access in Digital Public Infrastructure in short DPI. Leaders acknowledged the delicate balance between economic growth facilitated by AI and challenges like job loss, ethical dilemmas, inequality, and biases. The conference aimed to foster a collaborative and informed approach, turning AI into a force for positive change.

The discussion included understanding current AI technologies, exploring ethical implications, and formulating global guidelines. Regulatory frameworks for innovation with safety and fairness, along with discussions on educational and workforce transformation, were integral. Global collaboration in AI research and development and addressing potential threats were emphasized, highlighting the need for international cooperation.

The ministerial conference witnessed a poignant tribute to the Father of the Nation, followed by an insightful keynote presentation on “Responsible AI for Shared Future.” The presentation was delivered by H.E. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Minister of State, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, Government of Bangladesh, and Sir Geoff Mulgan, Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy, and Social Innovation at University College London (UCL), former CEO of Nesta, UK.

An engaging discussion on how AI can help the world reduce the digital divide set the stage for a thought-provoking panel discussion. The panel featured the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen; the Communication and Digital Economy Minister of Gambia, H.E. Ousman A. Bah; Youth and Sports Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, H.E. Euridice Semedo Medeiros; and Minister of State of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division of Bangladesh, H.E. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP.

The conversation extends with valuable contributions from esteemed ambassadors, adding diplomatic perspectives to the discourse. The leaders conveyed positivity regarding the cooperative endeavors influencing the responsible trajectory of AI.  Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen provides insightful closing remarks and outlines the way forward. The program concludes with a presentation of mementos and a collective photo session, capturing the collaborative spirit of the event.