Analyzing the Role of Connectivity on Economic & Human Development
In this AI challenge with UNDP, 50 technology changemakers built AI-based solutions for identifying the relationship between connectivity and human development indicators (life expectancy, education, and/or per capita income).
Connectivity has become a defining feature of the modern economy and one of the significant trends of the 21st century. In this context, the term digital divide has emerged, which refers to the gap between individuals who have access to reliable, high-speed internet (allowing them to access modern information and communication technology) and those who do not. In America for example, this form of inequality is most prevalent between urban and rural communities (with many rural communities lacking reliable internet access) and between socioeconomic groups, with lower-income individuals less likely to have access than their wealthier counterparts. Adding to this problem, COVID 19 has changed the role and importance of connectivity.
There are several important policy implications that could be drawn from the project results; for example:
As governments transition public services to digital in the wake of COVID-19, does exclusion from connectivity have a compounding impact on exclusion from public benefits?
Does a better understanding of connectivity (and the reliability of data on connectivity) create urgency for governments to design policies that connect their citizens?
Is there a way to identify causal factors that have increased the digital divide for particular groups, therefore forcing greater emphasis for governments to address the digital divide?
How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the digital divide? Has it exacerbated digital exclusion for particular groups and/or pushed certain demographics into being particularly vulnerable/at-risk?
UNDP about the AI Challenge results
An incredible lofty task and the team helped us to find the scope across several intersections. This will help inform our work at a strategic level significantly.