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Joe Cerrell

Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

An age of AI… and an age of equity?


Across the world, we see inequity everywhere. This multifaceted societal challenge is one that is rarely presented with opportunities for truly global solutions. To date, our best chances have been the first industrial revolution, the creation of a global financial system, and the development of the internet. These major technological advances have certainly brought humanity closer to achieving a level playing field but have ultimately fallen short of the mark. Yet, with our innate curiosity and drive for innovation continuing to thrive, we have once again propelled ourselves to the dawn of a new age: the age of AI. With the help of artificial intelligence, we are gifted a unique chance to build a more equitable world. We have the opportunity to share vast learnings with the next generation and the ability to rapidly empower communities across the world to create more equitable societies. AI has the potential to be our guiding hand, offering near instantaneous answers to impossibly complex questions: climate change, international development, food and energy security, and more. It is crucial for us to leverage this new tool in pursuit of answers to the greatest challenges facing us today. The question is: how?

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