Taking First Steps in Learning AI

Kicking off three months of learning, ideating, and reflecting at the AI Lab

Big data. Machine learning. Chat bots. Smart cities. Buzzwords linked to Artificial Intelligence (AI) fill our social media feeds, publicity campaigns, and news articles. But, what do they really mean? What’s their potential? This is exactly what inspired the AI Lab.

On August 28, over 150 participants began their learning journey with the Leading with AI: Ignite and build your AI-driven ideas Lab. This 3-month online collaboration platform, co-hosted by GIZ’s Global Leadership Academy and the International Training Centre of the ILO, aims to connect with the global community to bring human-centred AI-deas to life. 

The lab kicked off with a virtual welcome session, connecting the participants from around 70 countries around the globe. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, this platform enables global citizens to unite for a common cause: How might AI assist, augment, or replace our workforces?

“AI is sparking a transformation.”

“We must put our powers together to make a change,” opened Mareike Zenker from the Global Leadership Academy. She went on to share the utmost value of having such a diverse group of participants, giving space for learning, listening, being open to opposing views, and finding flexibility in change.

Reflections on AI and the future of work were central to the opening remarks from Tom Wambeke, Chief of Learning Innovation at the ITCILO. “AI must be demystified,” he shared. Upon observing discussions on robotization and automatization, he is curious to discover the impact of humans and machines for the future of learning. 

Nice to (virtually) meet you

Introductions and genuine connections may be a challenge to cultivate when separated by screens. Yet, the first forum activity allowed participants to visually introduce themselves and share what intrigues them about AI. 

“As we are all part of this world, we have the responsibility to use AI to improve people’s lives, promote local development, and a sustainable future.” – Tamara, Costa Rica

AI has infinite applications. For Anthony from Kenya, AI can alleviate human suffering. For Paraguayan, Claudia, AI can impact the future of jobs. In Cameroon, Tanyi aspires to use AI to address the COVID-19 “new normal.” 

Curiosity is key. Many questions and calls to action were raised. Iranian, Parisa, probed: “Can AI save us from the unemployment crisis and growing poverty?” Gamelihle from Ghana questioned whether ethical AI can be used as a tool to augment human intelligence rather than to replace it.

To leverage the learning experience, “Coffee Breaks” were created as self-organized forums for participants to engage on themes of their interest. From “AI, Nature, and Climate Change: What AI can and cannot do” to “AI Ethics of COVID-19 Tracking Apps,” the inquiries are endless. These virtual coffees triggered knowledge sharing and set the tone for a dynamic AI Lab.

This is just the beginning. Stay tuned about our latest news and developments here on Leading with AI. 

Virtual Panels

Engage, discuss, and collaborate
with AI experts

Virtual Roundtables enable participants to network, learn and benefit from the shared knowledge and experience of the group through moderated dialogue. Gather online, take part in structured and themed discussions around the Lab topics.