Intelligent Connectivity, Inspirational Cities and Women in AI -UNIDO at 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference

Today, the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC 2021) with the theme of ‘Intelligent Connectivity, Inspirational Cities” was opened at the Shanghai Expo Centre in China. The conference brings together top-level scientists, entrepreneurs, government officials, international organizations and investors to foster the integration and exchanges on latest trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, applications, talents and capital and to promote international scientific and technological innovation and collaboration.

In his opening remarks on behalf of the Director General of UNIDO, Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director of the UNIDO Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-business, emphasized that AI has great potential to aid our collective drive to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the current Decade of Action. As part of the UN-wide initiative on AI, UNIDO is leading the development of a set of guidelines specifically tailored to an important constituent of development, small and medium enterprises in developing countries.

UNIDO has been a longstanding partner of the WAIC and UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Shanghai actively supported the conference also this year, through the co-organization of various WAIC forums and events, including the WAIC 2021 AI Women Elite Forum and the WAIC 2021 International AI City Forum, also featuring interventions from Calzadilla-Sarmiento.

During the event, UNIDO’s highlights its focus on harnessing innovations from the business sector, for digital and green transformation to foster sustainability and addressing existing inequalities. Activities in this regard include UNIDO ITPO Beijing’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Model Cities initiative and UNIDO’s initiatives addressing gender-inequality in industry, also in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), such as through fostering digital skills-development. The event serves to underline the importance of ensuring that developments under the 4IR, with AI at the core of so many transformational processes, are inclusive and sustainable.

Follow WAIC 2021 here and learn more about WAIC here.

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