Webinar on Artificial Intelligence (AI): Opportunities in the Developing World

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AI is a fast-moving technology which has undoubtedly become the main force in boosting the 4th Industrial revolution (4IR). IA will infuse many sectors viz healthcare, agriculture, businesses, education, manufacturing and in even arts as well. Whilst AI has potential to help many people to live healthier and with enhanced productivity, it also triggers new challenges for citizens and governments around the world in terms of privacy, cyber security and even national security. Recognizing the importance of AI as a key enabler of harnessing the benefits from 4IR, a webinar was organized by the NSF in collaboration with the National Academy of Science Sri Lanka (NASSL) with the support of the NSF sub-committee on Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which was held on 16th May 2023. The key aim of the webinar was to enhance awareness amongst relevant stakeholders and present opportunities to them so as to deploy this technology effectively for socio-economic development of our country.

Prof. Ranjith Senarathne, Chairman of the NSF delivered the welcome and opening remarks highlighting the relevance of conducting a such timely seminar. Addressing the participants, Dr Ruvan Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo School of Computing and the Chairman of the NSF sub-committee on Forth Industrial Revolution provided an in-depth introduction to the webinar elaborating its objectives. The resource person for the webinar, Prof. Saman Halgamuge, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Electrical Mechanical and Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne is a seasoned professional in the field who counts experience in AI and machine learning and listed as a top 2% most cited researcher in AI. Prof. Halgamuge outlined to the participants the main reasons for developing countries to continue as the technological laggards, opportunities and strategic approaches to leverage on AI from available resources in Sri Lankan contest. Priyan Dias, Emeritus Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa and a member of the NSF Sub- Committee on Forth Industrial Revolution moderated the question-and-answer session where many of the participants actively engaged. The concluding remarks were given by Mr Wasantha Anuruddha, Head of the Science and Technology Policy Research Division. With the participation over 180, this webinar provided a floor to identify the benefits of artificial intelligence and insights on how to leverage the full benefit of AI technology in Sri Lankan context. 

The recrdings of the webinars conducted by the NSF are available on NSF YouTube channel.

youtube_logo.png Direct link for this recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9eJYe1bfQo