AI in the "Real World": Examining the Impact of AI Deployment in Low-Resource Contexts

Chinasa T. Okolo

As AI becomes integrated throughout the world, its potential for impact within low-resource regions around the Global South have grown. AI research labs from tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and IBM have a significant presence in countries such as India, Ghana, and South Africa. The work done by these labs is often motivated by the potential impact it could have on local populations, but the deployment of these tools has not always gone smoothly. This paper presents a case study examining the deployment of AI by large industry labs situated in low-resource contexts, highlights factors impacting unanticipated deployments, and reflects on the state of AI deployment within the Global South, providing suggestions that embrace inclusive design methodologies within AI development that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities and elevate their status not just as beneficiaries of AI systems but as primary stakeholders.

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