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2020 Government AI Readiness Index: Governments must prioritise responsible AI use

October 7, 2020
IDRC and Oxford Insights have launched the 2020 Government AI Readiness Index to measure country preparedness for artificial intelligence (AI) — the first to include a Responsible Use Index.
Government AI Readiness Index 2020
Oxford Insights/ IDRC

While AI has the power to transform public services, irresponsible use of the technology could further entrench inequalities, leaving billions of citizens marginalized.

Nordic-Baltic countries come out as leaders in responsible use of AI, with Estonia, Norway, Finland, and Sweden all in the top five. But the top 20 also includes Senegal (9) and Mauritius (13), showing that some developing countries already recognize the importance of responsible AI as they adopt these technologies.

Meanwhile, the United States and the UK come in at numbers one and two respectively when it comes to AI readiness, but they rank at 24th and 22nd in the newly added responsible use sub-index.

Canada comes in at 14th in AI governance readiness, and 11th when it comes to responsible AI.

Richard Stirling, Oxford Insights CEO said: “Our report shows that some of the world’s most AI advanced countries are not prioritising and practicing responsible AI in the way they should be.  Nations from the US, the UK to Russia, China and Israel need to ensure that as they implement AI technologies, they do it in a way that benefits all their citizens.”

The report also shows that there is a growing commitment to AI across the world with a proliferation of new national and international AI strategies published in the last year - a 50% increase from 2019.

Jean Lebel, President, IDRC said: “This year’s index and report highlights the current strengths, weaknesses, and barriers to government AI readiness and responsibilities, which we hope will stimulate further sharing of expertise, opportunities, tools, and policies among governments and stakeholders across borders as well as encourage new collaborations and investment.” 

This year’s index and report analyzes the AI readiness of governments across 172 countries using expanded methodology as more data sets have become available.  

More information here.