88. Stimulating Autonomous/Intelligent Systems for Development

Tipo de comunicación

Online. Tecnologías para el desarrollo, la sostenibilidad y la cooperación

Palabras clave (keywords)

Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, UN Sustainable Development Goals, project and development approaches


The increasing challenges posed by Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (A/IS) in the ethical, moral, legal, humanitarian and sociopolitical domains are being addressed by initiatives such as the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of A/IS, the aim of which is to ensure that every stakeholder involved in the research, design, manufacture, or dissemination of A/IS technologies is educated, trained, and empowered to prioritise ethical considerations and consistency with values and human well-being criteria. Issues of concern include decision-making transparency, privacy, employment and economic impacts, long-term effects on social well-being or on human rights, mitigating climate change, etc. However, the ethical and philosophical debate is taking place mostly in high-income countries so that, not surprisingly, much of it is of little relevance to the more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty.

Since their inception, Artificial Intelligence applications have held great promise as technological tools to promote sustainable development in low and middle-income countries. A/IS have the potential to bring unprecedented levels of prosperity to all. We argue that realising this potential should entail working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increasing awareness of “A/IS for development” (A/IS4D), an interdisciplinary research field that has been somewhat neglected.

We provide some examples of good practice in the development of A/IS focused on the satisfaction of the SDGs, To show how an interdisciplinary, development-oriented approach can have an impact on satisfaction of the SDGs, we briefly describe two A/IS projects. For the impact to be clear, we have chosen examples that are not too recent and are relatively large-scale, without wishing to disparage recent and small-scale projects. Reflecting on the problems identified in the literature and on the examples of good practice, we point to the main ethical and technological challenges to be addressed in the A/IS4D research field.


  • Manjarrés, Angeles
    UNED, ES
  • Pickin, Simon
    UCM, ES
  • Artaso, Miguel Angel
    UNED, ES