AI for the Sustainable Development Goals  book cover
1st Edition

AI for the Sustainable Development Goals

ISBN 9781032044064
Published February 24, 2022 by CRC Press
120 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What is artificial intelligence? What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How does AI affect the SDGs?

Artificial Intelligence has a real impact on our lives and on our environment, and the Sustainable Development Goals enable us to evaluate these impacts in a systematic manner. This book shows that doing so requires us to understand the context of AI – the infrastructure it is built on, who develops it, who owns it, who has access to it, who uses it, and what it is used for – rather than relying on an isolationist theory of technology. By doing so, we can analyze not only the direct effects of AI on sustainability, but also the indirect – or second-order – effects. AI for the Sustainable Development Goals shows how AI potentially affects all SDGs – both positively and negatively.

Table of Contents

Author. 1 Introduction. 2 AI and the SDGs in Context. 3 The Challenge of Evaluating AI Impact. 4 Sustainable Economic Development. 5 Sustainable Social Development. 6 Sustainable Environmental Development. 7 Assessing the Overall Impact of AI. 8 Conclusion. References. Index.

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Henrik Skaug Sætra is a political scientist working in the Faculty of Business, Languages and Social Science at Østfold University College. Sætra has a particular interest in political theory and philosophy and worked extensively with Thomas Hobbes and social contract theory, environmental ethics and game theory. At the moment Sætra mostly works with issues involving the dynamics between human individuals, society and technology.


"Artificial Intelligence is continuously presented as the technology that will help solve some of the most complex problems of contemporary society, including the fight against climate change and global warming. However, reducing modern problems to mere engineering solutions is not straightforward and may have adverse consequences too. In this book, Sætra shows in an elegant and simple way how AI can indeed be a potential solution to some of the most pressing issues humanity is facing today. Yet, it also alerts about the dangers AI may entail without appropriate oversight and highlights the role and responsibilities of those wielding influence over such great powers. An excellent read and a stepping stone towards having AI serving the Sustainable Development Goals." -- Dr. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, Assistant Professor, eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies, Leiden University.