Sri Lanka Pioneers National AI Strategy with UNDP’s AIRA Assessment
The wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is swiftly reshaping industries, from agriculture to healthcare, propelling a transformative wave across the economic landscape. This paradigm shift has spotlighted the critical notion of “AI readiness,” recognizing its potential to elevate public services and enhance efficiencies in diverse sectors.
In a significant move, the Sri Lankan government has taken proactive steps by appointing a dedicated committee, operating under the Presidential Secretariat, to steer the country’s AI strategy. Joining this endeavor, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sri Lanka has initiated the AI Readiness Assessment (AIRA), a crucial step in shaping the nation’s AI trajectory.
AIRA comprises a comprehensive survey within the public sector and Key Informant Interviews engaging various non-governmental sectors, including academia, development partners, and the private sector. Recently, a mission led by UNDP’s Chief Digital Office undertook interviews and orchestrated a workshop involving over 80 public sector officials, kickstarting the survey component of AIRA in Sri Lanka.
Emphasizing the significance of this assessment, Technology State Minister Kanaka Herath highlighted its role in establishing a robust National AI Strategy. Meanwhile, UNDP Sri Lanka’s Deputy Resident Representative, Malin Herwig, underscored AI’s potential to enhance public services, foster economic growth, and generate employment, underscoring the need for preparation and ethical utilization of AI.