Skip to content

Main Insight

This project builds a framework of enabling policies for emerging and developing countries to harness artificial intelligence for their development objectives while mitigating important risks.

Policy Pathways to Harness AI for Development

May 19, 2021

The Future Society launched with the World Bank’s Digital Development Practice a new global research & advisory project about policy and regulatory approaches for harnessing responsible artificial intelligence for a broad range of countries beyond those leading in AI today.

The pace and magnitude of the digital revolution suggest that developing countries cannot afford to lag behind in leveraging AI. Furthermore, AI and digital technologies offer developing areas significant opportunities and risks in a ‘more to gain, more to lose’ paradigm. Countries can harness AI to address pressing social and economic problems. However, AI can also exacerbate inequality, concentration and control risks presented by digital technologies. This project aims at building a framework of ‘enabling’ policies for emerging and developing countries to build and harness artificial intelligence for their development objectives while mitigating important risks.

The project analyzes numerous countries’ AI strategies and applications to identify emerging policies and practices. It identifies policy recommendations for countries to harness safe and ethical AI based on their levels of AI and digital maturity. Specifically, it builds a framework of policy approaches that can be applied in a flexible and agile way, building on existing work within and outside The Future Society and The World Bank.

To date, preliminary research finds that national AI strategies focus on 8 Domain areas, ranging from AI talent development, supporting data access and entrepreneurship ecosystems. To achieve these, AI strategies leverage 6 primary Tools & Instruments. These range from regulation to direct investments, to fostering Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and collaborations with the private sector, academia, nonprofits, and the public.

The 2021 summary report Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Development in the Post COVID-19 Era: A Review of National AI Strategies and Policies can be read on the World Bank Digital Development website or in PDF here. (Full report pending 2021)

Learn about our project supporting Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, and GIZ FAIR Forward to develop Rwanda’s National AI Policy

Learn about work program Policies to Harness AI for Sustainable Development

Related resources

TFS supports the approval of the EU AI Act

TFS supports the approval of the EU AI Act

The Future Society urges European Union Member States and the European Parliament to approve the EU AI Act.

Contribution to the G7 Hiroshima AI Process Code of Conduct

Contribution to the G7 Hiroshima AI Process Code of Conduct

TFS contributed to the United States and European Union’s public consultations on the G7 Hiroshima Artificial Intelligence Process Guiding Principles and Code of Conduct.

Our 2023 Highlights

Our 2023 Highlights

We recount our achievements and impact in 2023, spanning policy research, convenings, workshops, advocacy, community-building, report production, interviews, and expert group, conference, and workshop participation.

The Fifth Edition of The Athens Roundtable to take place in Washington, D.C.

The Fifth Edition of The Athens Roundtable to take place in Washington, D.C.

The Fifth Edition of The Athens Roundtable on AI and the Rule of Law will convene in Washington D.C. on November 30th and December 1st, 2023, to examine the risks associated with foundation models and generative AI, and explore governance mechanisms that could serve to reduce these risks.

A Blueprint for the European AI Office

A Blueprint for the European AI Office

We are releasing a blueprint for the proposed European AI Office, which puts forward design features that would enable the Office to implement and enforce the EU AI Act, with a focus on addressing transnational issues like general-purpose AI.

Model Protocol for Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

Model Protocol for Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

The Future Society, with support from IEEE, has developed a model protocol to assist parties seeking to establish the trustworthiness of advanced tools used to review electronically stored information (ESI) in legal discovery.