It’s Time for Industry Leaders To Start Using AI for Good; Here’s How

By Shamina Singh, Founder & President, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Executive Vice President, Sustainability at Mastercard
Jan 25, 2024 2:10 PM ET
4 people sitting at a meeting
Image courtesy of Financial Times

Originally Published by Financial Times

When it came time for 17-year-old Esther Egbe – an aspiring engineer living in Texas – to attend college, like millions of students, she needed financial aid to pay for it. Applying for financial aid can be complex and cumbersome, but an AI chatbot called Wyatt, developed by Benefits Data Trust, a US-based non-profit organisation, guided Esther through the process – along with 30,000 other users, more than half of whom are students of colour or from low-income backgrounds.

While much of the discussion around AI today focus on either mitigating harms or reducing barriers to entry for innovators (important considerations in their own right), we haven’t focused enough attention on the end goal: using AI for good.

Safety and accessibility are table stakes, but they’re not enough if economies and societies hope to capitalise on the promise AI offers. We know from experience. The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth began its journey to address the growing chasm between those working to solve society’s toughest problems and those with the know-how and assets to unlock data’s potential. At the time, we saw how emerging technologies could be used to build an inclusive economy for everyone, everywhere. It’s why we work to increase access to digital tools and platforms, as well as provide people with the digital literacy skills.

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