The 5 Competencies the Impact Sector Needs for the AI Revolution

On both a sector level and an individual one, we have work to do.

Why It Matters

In order to create a future where artificial intelligence helps us create lasting social impact, the social sector needs to catch up. In this final article in James Stauch and Alina Turner’s series on AI and social impact, we explore the five competencies needed in order to successfully realize that future.

With today’s technology revolution already afoot, what role can the world of social impact play and where can we add value as part of our contribution to lasting social change within the Fourth Industrial Revolution?  If we view the explosion of AI technology, both in ubiquity and sophistication, as just that — an “explosion” — then we can extend the metaphor to see our role as helping carefully guide where the charges are laid.

Nick Bostrum, the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, characterizes this as “the most careful controlled detonation ever conceived.” How will the detonation be controlled such that our social foundations and ecosystems are maintained and optimized, while the biased, exploitative, and inequitable implications of AI are avoided? 

As mathematician Cathy O’Neil points out, it’s not t

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