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Alum Branka Panic on AI for Peace – Using Artificial Intelligence for Creating Lasting Peace

On our graduation day, in May 2019, I wrote a “letter to myself”, a beautiful Rotary Peace Fellowship tradition of remembering the day as the end of a two-year journey. Now, one year later, I have this letter in front of me, reading how I imagined my future and realizing that what at that time seemed as an end, was in fact only a new beginning. I came to the US and joined the program with a mission of merging my passion for new technologies and creating a more peaceful world. Thanks to the amazing support of my fellow colleagues from Duke, UNC, and Rotary, my host family, numerous Rotarians and many friends I met on the way, I started realizing this mission, piloting an organization called “AI for Peace”.

Branka and friend Magda standing together in front of various national flags.
Branka (right) and friend Magda at Rotary World Peace Conference 2020

AI for Peace is a think-tank and community of artificial intelligence experts and social scientists based throughout the world and committed to using AI for creating lasting peace. We are focused on studying and understanding the impacts of AI and related exponential technologies on society. Our vision is a future in which AI benefits peace, security, and sustainable development and where diverse voices influence creation of AI and related technologies. We are preparing peacebuilders with the mindset and knowledge to develop human-centered artificial intelligence, ensuring the creation of sustainable positive peace.

With this goal we published our first “AI Non-technical Guide for Policymakers”, translating AI terminology and concepts to the policy world. We publish a monthly Newsletter, bringing the latest news and developments in AI and peace fields. We opened a Digital Library, a place where you will find the latest book reviews, podcasts, articles, and online courses to help all of us as a community to take our place at the table in an informed way when we shape our future with AI tools. With the start of a pandemic crisis, as a community of practice, we organized an “AI Policy Pandemic Challenge”, utilizing artificial and human intelligence to support policymakers to identify the most effective ways to minimize economic suffering and protect the health of some of the most vulnerable populations in this crisis.

I can truly say the path to this work was paved by my experience as a Rotary Peace Fellow. I am grateful for all the inspiring people I met and worked with, and I hope for similar inspiration for new Fellows to come.

Connect with Branka through LinkedIn, read her Medium Blog, or listen to her latest podcast with Women in AI.

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