I am in New York and I am interning at the UNICEF headquarters. This internship is a part of my master’s in International Education Development at the University of Pennsylvania and this blog is one of the assignments for the ‘internship’ semester that I am almost about to wrap up.
Yes, I spent a summer without the loo or the mangoes (which some of my classmates interning in India thoroughly enjoyed) but I spent a good time being an integral part of a team of 6 people in the Policy Lab at UNICEF.
The Policy Lab in UNICEF is a part of the bigger Data, Research and Policy (DRP) team and is mainly responsible for exploring global trends and policy innovations of increasing relevance to children in which UNICEF currently has little or no policy footprint.
On our team, we have ‘policy specialists’ for digital connectivity; skills and employability; governance and fragility and climate energy & environment. I work with the policy specialist for digital connectivity on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Child Rights.
A bit about my work on AI and Child Rights
Almost one-third children of the world are online today. Digital access, literacy and skills are essentials for the future of the children of today. Moreover, the world is making rapid advances in technologies such as AI where AI systems and the unprecedented amounts of data to train algorithms with the increased computing power are profoundly impacting the life and work. This raises a lot of concern for human development now and in the future.
Obviously, if a system raises hopes and concerns around the future, children become the most important constituency of that conversation. However, the amount of attention being paid to how AI will impact children and their rights is astonishingly low.
My work here entails assisting the development of policy guidance to help governments uphold the rights of the child when designing policies around AI. Check out the video to get a sense of the AI and child rights work at UNICEF, Policy Lab.