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Multi-faceted approach must to address AI

UNB . Dhaka 
10 Jul 2024 20:55:00 | Update: 10 Jul 2024 20:58:20
Multi-faceted approach must to address AI
— UNB Photo

On Wednesday, State Minister of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said AI’s transformative potential brings significant ethical challenges.

He emphasised the need for a multi-faceted approach to address these challenges, involving technological solutions, robust policy frameworks, regulatory measures, and international cooperation.

He stressed the importance of ensuring that AI technologies do not widen existing inequalities but help bridge the digital divide and empower all sections of society.

The state minister said these while speaking at a programme titled “National Stakeholder Consultation on Assessing AI Readiness of Bangladesh,” at the BCC Auditorium in ICT Tower, Dhaka.

The ICT Division of Bangladesh, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Aspire to Innovate-a2i, hosted the National Stakeholder Consultation on the country’s readiness towards safe, trusted, and ethical use of AI.

ICT Secretary Md. Shamsul Arefin stated that the goal is to harness the transformative power of ethical AI for everyone's benefit.

“Let us seize this opportunity to create a future where AI technologies are developed and deployed ethically, contributing positively to our society.”


Secretary of Coordination & Reforms at the Cabinet Division Md Mahmudul Hossain Khan said that this is a vital step in understanding our current position and determining our path forward to fully harness the power of AI.

“Identifying the gaps, opportunities, and challenges in AI adaptation will guide us in formulating strategies that are both effective and sustainable for the development of our society.”

 The Project Director (Additional Secretary) of a2i and CEO of the Agency to Innovate Md Mamunur Rashid Bhuiyan discussed the government's preparedness for AI.

“We began working with AI in 2018 and 2019, leading to the development of the AI National Strategy 2019. Currently, we are focused on creating AI policies and laws, with a strong emphasis on ethical considerations.”

 Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh Charles Whiteley expressed the EU's support for initiatives like UNESCO’s AI Readiness Assessment Methodology.

 He emphasised the importance of considering all dimensions-legal, social, cultural, scientific, economic, and technical-when evaluating our readiness level.

 Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Sonali Dayaratne stated that all countries are impacted by AI, and emerging economies need a voice in the global AI race. We hope to empower Bangladesh with that voice.

 UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Gabriela Ramos mentioned that at UNESCO the conversation on Artificial Intelligence is seen as a social issue, not just a technological one.

 “The aim is not only to regulate these technologies but to guide their development in a way that serves human goals and advances overall development.”

 The consultation provided a platform for critical discussions aimed at integrating safe, trusted, and ethical AI considerations into AI strategies and programmes across different sectors including education, transportation, RMG, agriculture, and commerce.

 It ensures that the deployment of AI technologies aligns with public welfare and adheres to international norms and standards.

Extensive dialogue on the concept of safe and trusted AI, its ethical implications, and the societal impact of AI technologies were deliberated upon through panel discussions and breakout group sessions.