Brazil to create national artificial intelligence strategy

The plan aims to use AI to boost competitiveness and productivity and address issues such as social inequality.

The Brazilian government has taken another step towards the creation of public policies around artificial intelligence (AI).

A national AI strategy will be created as a response to the worldwide race for leadership in the field and the need to discuss the future of work, education, tax, research and development as well as ethics as the application of related technologies becomes more pervasive.

A public consultation has been launched to gather input around how AI can solve the country's main issues, identify priority areas of focus for the development and use of the technologies, as well as limits for it.

According to the summary on the purpose of the consultation, which ends on January 31, 2020, the government understands that AI can bring improvements to the country's competitiveness and productivity, as well as the provision of public services, quality of life and to reduce social inequality in the southern hemisphere's biggest economy.

Brazil adheres to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s human-centred AI Principles, which provide for recommendations around areas such as transparency and explainability.

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In light of these guidelines, the debate around the Brazilian AI strategy will initially discuss six vertical themes: qualifications for a digital future; workforce; research, development, innovation and entrepreneurship; government application of AI; application in the productive sectors and public safety.

In addition, three common themes to all areas will be discussed: legislation, regulation and ethical use, as well as international aspects and AI governance.

According to a study carried out by consulting firm Ducker Frontier on behalf of Microsoft, Brazil could achieve a GDP increase of 7.1% with full adoption of artificial intelligence technologies.

The study suggested that the predicted increase in GDP considering full AI adoption is higher than the 2.9% growth rate projected by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until 2030.

This GDP growth would be accompanied by a four-fold increase in the country's productivity levels, reaching a compound annual growth rate of up to 7% per year in the period to 2030, compared to the 1,7% annual growth estimated by the World Bank and the IMF.

Also last month, the Brazilian government announced it will create a network of eight research facilities focused on artificial intelligence.

One of the labs will focus on edge AI technology in areas such as cybersecurity and will involve the Brazilian Army. The other seven centers will work on applied AI. Four of these venues will be working on the technology in line with the national Internet of Things plan.