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Latin America’s Uneven AI Journey.

Oct 3, 2023

Catching up. That’s the game Latin America is usually playing in reference to breakthrough technologies, and the adoption of AI is certainly no exception.

Central America, South America and Mexico comprise most of what is known as Latin America, often referred to as a cohesive region, but so far we observe very different regulatory and institutional approaches across nations, lacking a unified regional strategy.

The Latin American Artificial Intelligence Index, a study that takes into consideration material, social and cultural contexts revealing the state of AI across 12 different countries in LatAm was published recently. One of the main conclusions was that the adoption, and excitement around AI across the different countries is as diverse as the cultures the region itself boasts. Case in point: Mexico and Brazil account for nearly 95% of AI patents in the region.

Everyone is keen on dabbling into the technology, however.

For example, in Paraguay, a communications agency created a simulated presidential debate earlier this year after one of the candidates refused to participate in the actual debates. The AI program used the candidates’ history, observed behaviors, social media comments and political platforms to allow citizens to “hear” from them.

And in Colombia, a judge leaned on ChatGPT to help him gather additional information, decide on and write up a case he was assigned to. Needless to say, his verdict based on ChatGPT rationale made headlines and caused a national fuss.

If the region can become a successful early adopter of AI is a whole different story. We need to first understand the intention behind how different countries use the technology- given the drastically different governmental regimes—and hope for positive integrations.

AI has the potential to contribute greatly to transforming development models in Latin America to make them more productive, inclusive, and sustainable. However, prioritizing a coherent regional strategy is imperative to harness the positive opportunities. (via Mafe)