AI & underdeveloped countries


AI and automation are changing the world in so many areas. What do you think the impact of AI on the low economy or underdeveloped countries? Will AI improve the life or create more problems due to job cuts and automation?

Artificial Intelligence
Technical Leadership
Development Economics
Economic Development
Hitesh Mathpal
36 months ago

4 answers


Very important question and both aspects will hold true I think. To speak to the risks, there is some worry that developing countries will not be able to take the usual development route of becoming heavy manufacturing countries (like China for example) and will be supplanted by AI driven economies. If AI as capital is cheaper and dominated by foreign investment, that may supplant motives to employ and educate the population. Thus there is a risk of locking in inequities in a very serious way.

Other low cost benefits will likely be scaled to developing countries. Cheap healthcare or education methods may be easy enough to scale, but again there is some risk. If everyone has access to sophisticated AI educational tools but without the proper infrastructure or teacher training, it again may justify insufficient expenditure on these critical aspects of the educational infrastructure. I'm working on a paper to this general point. 

In sum, AI should not be used as a justification to avoid critical domestic and international investment, or things may get worse. If AI is used thoughtfully as a complement to development strategies, that it may lead to many positive impacts. Would love to hear others' thoughts.


Daniel Schiff
36 months ago
Thanks Daniel. You said it correct - AI is a tool and it has to be used thoughtfully. - Hitesh 36 months ago
Agree - Dr. David E. 23 months ago

AI can be used for the good or bad. Low economy countries have to overcome their traditional higher level of corruption and impunity. If governments are accountable, AI could be used for the good.

Patrick Henz
23 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 23 months ago

Developing or Underdeveloped countries need to focus more on their basic development first. Otherwise as you said, it's quite obvious that there might be job cuts and also normal people life may be affected by it.
However I think that these countries must utilize the AI technology for their country's security purpose in first instance and also for the health and well being of their citizens.

Abhishek Raj
36 months ago
health and well being of their citizens = not even close - Dr. David E. 23 months ago

Indeed low economies have to prioritize the basics at the beginning but I think that AI and automation could be beneficial to these markets. They could be a big boost for these countries as they require lower investments, as AI and automation challenges are still in the development stage the possibility to jump into these are still open. Said that, I am considering these as opportunities more than threats.

Paolo Beffagnotti
36 months ago
Intellectual Property theft via China, et al? - Dr. David E. 23 months ago

Have some input?