The Impact of AI in Sustainable Development Goal Implementation: A Delphi Study

Simon Ofori Ametepey, Clinton Aigbavboa, Wellington Didibhuku Thwala, Hutton Addy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Artificial intelligence emerges as a powerful catalyst poised to reshape the global sustainability landscape by facilitating the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This comprehensive Delphi study meticulously probes the insights of domain experts, shedding light on the strategic utilization of AI to advance these critical sustainability objectives. Employing rigorous statistical techniques, encompassing measures of central tendency and interquartile deviation, this research scrutinizes consensus dynamics among experts and elucidates potential variations in their viewpoints. The findings resoundingly convey experts’ collective positive perspective regarding AI’s pivotal role in propelling the SDGs forward. Through two iterative rounds of extensive discussions, a compelling consensus crystallizes—AI indeed exerts an overall positive impact, exemplified by a robust mean score of 78.8%. Intriguingly, distinct SDGs manifest varied propensities toward AI intervention, with Goals 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, and 15 basking in the radiance of highly positive impacts. Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, and 12 exhibit positive impact scores, indicating a juncture ripe for positive advancements. Meanwhile, Goal 16 and Goal 17 languish with neutral scores, signifying a juncture demanding nuanced deliberations about AI’s impact on peace, justice, and strong institutions as well as on partnerships for the goals, respectively. This paper underscores AI as a formidable instrument poised to address humanity’s most pressing challenges while harmonizing seamlessly with the overarching SDG objectives. It gracefully dovetails into established practices across pivotal domains such as health, education, and resilient infrastructures, amplifying the collective global endeavor to navigate the path toward a more sustainable future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3858
JournalSustainability
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Keywords

  • Delphi study
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • artificial intelligence
  • consensus
  • global sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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