“The development of artificial intelligence (AI) holds immense potential for innovation across economic sectors worldwide. But this technology poses as many challenges as opportunities—and in Latin America, we’ve seen a patchwork of regulatory and institutional approaches emerge in various countries, rather than a coherent regional strategy. With AI’s potential to both help and hinder governments in strengthening democratic institutions, an AI strategy for the Americas that puts democratic principles and protection first will be critical in the years ahead.

“Already, countries throughout Latin America are exploring the benefits AI strategies can provide. The Panamanian government’s Respuesta Operativa de Salud Automática COVID-19 app, which uses AI to diagnose and recommend a patient for COVID testing, is just one example of possibilities that range from formulating public policies focused on COVID-19 response, to security and strengthening transparency, integrity and accountability.

“A regional AI strategy would provide a public policy framework, laying out a clear set of priorities for expanding AI’s positive effects and combating its potential for abuse. It would outline parameters and identify opportunities for ongoing dialogue. Ideally, it would include funding commitments to ensure goals are reached. …”

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