Towards environmental efficiency in the age of AI
ITU – The rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies has sparked the need for a sustainable approach able to safeguard the environment. A recent ITU workshop provided a platform to discuss environmental efficiency in the age of AI, increasing automation, and smart manufacturing.
The workshop discussed emerging technologies’ potential to contribute to climate action as part of global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also highlighted practical tools to evaluate environmental aspects of emerging technologies and discussed the role to be played by international standardization in supporting the expansion of this toolkit.
The workshop’s discussions fed into a meeting of the ITU Focus Group on environmental efficiency for AI and emerging technologies (FG-AI4EE). The group is analyzing the relationship between emerging technologies and environmental efficiency to benchmark best practices and provide a basis for new ITU standards. “This focus group is among the first global platforms for the environmental aspects of emerging technologies,” noted Paolo Gemma, Huawei, Co-Chair of the Focus Group.
The Focus Group is open to all interested parties. Sign-up as a participant and join the mailing list on the homepage. For more information, contact email@example.com. more>
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COVID-19: How mobile phone contact tracing can save lives – and preserve privacy
ITU News – Contact tracing is a key public health response to limit infectious disease outbreaks such as the global COVID-19 pandemic.
More than ever, authorities worldwide are using the power of mobile technologies to help them understand and manage the spread of COVID-19.
GPS, Bluetooth, cellphone masts and AI-powered big data analytics are now being used in countries across the world to collect data that helps authorities improve these efforts and save lives.
But how can we preserve personal privacy and maintain public trust while using these technologies to perform crucial contact tracing?
Key experts discussed these issues on Friday in Episode 2 of the AI for Good Webinar Series: COVID-19 – Using mobile phones & AI for contact tracing while respecting privacy.
One central goal of contact tracing is to identify people who have come into close contact with people who have the virus, explained Reinhard Scholl, Deputy Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), as he kicked off the webinar.
“Is it possible to have both privacy and health?” asked Scholl. “The fear is that the short-term emergency measures that have been taken right now will stay long after the madness has passed.”
Indeed, many countries have felt the need to relax privacy laws during the crisis in order to use data to prevent the spread of COVID-19. more>
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UNESCO rallies international organizations, civil society and private sector partners in a broad Coalition to ensure #LearningNeverStops
By Clare O’Hagan – At a time of when 87% of the world’s student population is affected by COVID-19 school closures, UNESCO is launching a global education coalition to support countries in scaling up their best distance learning practices and reaching children and youth who are most at risk.
Over 1.5 billion learners in 165 countries are affected by COVID-19 school closures.
“Never before have we witnessed educational disruption on such a scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “Partnership is the only way forward. This Coalition is a call for coordinated and innovative action to unlock solutions that will not only support learners and teachers now, but through the recovery process, with a principle focus on inclusion and equity.”
Since closing schools to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have been deploying distance learning solutions and grappling with the complexity of provisioning education remotely, from delivering content and supporting teachers to providing guidance to families and addressing connectivity challenges. Equity is the paramount concern because closures disproportionately hurt vulnerable and disadvantaged students who rely on schools for a range of social services, including health and nutrition.
“We must speed up the ways we share experience, and help the most vulnerable, whether or not they have internet access”, said Angelina Jolie, UN High Commission for Refugees Special Envoy, who partnered with UNESCO in the establishment of the Coalition. more>
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