“Artificial Intelligence, Source of Hope for Food System Transformation” – FAO Dongyu

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has underscored the need to consolidate digitalization in global agriculture, after it took part in the signing of an ethical resolution on Artificial Intelligence (AI), in Rome.

Quoting its Director-General, Qu Dongyu, in a statement, the FAO says it is convinced that transforming food systems to feed the world will be achieved with digital agriculture.

The DG joined Italy’s Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitalization, Paola Pisano, Microsoft President Brad Smith and IBM Executive Vice President John Kelly III in signing the “Rome Call for AI Ethics”.

The AI Ethics, endorsed by Pope Francis, refers to “a highly sustainable approach, which also includes the use of artificial intelligence in insuring sustainable food systems in the future.”

It is a pact to ratifying the importance of minimizing the risks associated with artificial intelligence while exploring its potential benefits.

According to Dongyu, the agreement was necessary for harnessing the transformative power in AI, to make food systems more efficient, sustainable and inclusive.

“From a food system transformation perspective, we look at digitalization, big data, and artificial intelligence as sources of hope,” he said, during a debate that preceded the signing.

AI has raised concerns across the globe, with issues in the transformation of the digital era, which tend to challenge individual and collective ethos.

On the concerns, the FAO DG stressed that Artificial Intelligence has to be “transparent, inclusive, socially beneficial and accountable”

“We need to ensure the human-centric approach in designing and implementing artificial intelligence today and in the future,” he said.

Dongyu further cited the International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture endorsed in Berlin earlier this year, adding that the FAO will strive to engage all stakeholders within the agri-food system, to enhance and diffuse the state of digitalization in the sector with a strategic approach.

He also emphasized the need to bridge the digital gap between developed and developing countries, as well as the gap in promoting dialogue, creating synergies and enhancing awareness for issues specific to digital agriculture.

“FAO is ready to play its part as a facilitator and as a knowledge Organization in this significant endeavor,” Dongyu assured.



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