The Malta Independent 20 April 2021, Tuesday

Tech.mt partners with UNICEF to Pilot the Policy Guidance on AI for Children

Monday, 21 December 2020, 18:24 Last update: about 5 months ago
Photo: UNICEF
Photo: UNICEF

Earlier this year, UNICEF invited Governments and interested companies to pilot the Policy Guidance on AI for Children and share their findings about how it is used, what works and what doesn’t. These real experiences from all participating partners are aimed at improving future versions of the guidance and inspire others to implement more child-centred AI policies.

Tech.mt, together with the Office of the Commissioner for Children in Malta, is proud to announce that it has been selected to partner with UNICEF in order to bring forward a child-centred approach into Malta’s digital policies and strategies. Tech.mt’s proposal was chosen out of all the submitted applications. Through such a partnership, Malta joins other countries such as Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, Finland, Chile, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda in a global effort towards AI policies and systems that support children’s development.

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From a Maltese perspective, this partnership is in line with the new National Digital Strategy being drafted by the Government of Malta for 2021-2024. Whilst the strategy will provide a set of guiding principles and policy actions to advance the country’s digital economy in the areas of emerging technologies, the Tech.mt-UNICEF partnership aims for a more inclusive ecosystem to ensure that all segments of society are reached, particularly children.

Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri positively welcomed this news and remarked that the great strides Malta achieved in the tech sector over the past few years have captured the attention of international institutions which are choosing Malta as a testbed to launch significant projects.

“The Tech.MT and UNICEF partnership demonstrates the benefits of the use of technology such as AI to bridge the gap in key sectors such as education. I look forward to this partnership as well as seeing Malta amongst big players making a difference in the world of tech”, said Schembri.

Dana Farrugia, CEO at Tech.mt said that, “We need broader discussions on where AI can take us, starting from: policy, legislation and culture. We can dream as much as we want, but if these three pillars are not in place, we will never reap the full benefit that AI can add to our existence. Since its inception, Tech.mt has recognised the importance of understanding the functions and challenges of AI policies and systems, whilst at the same time ensuring their appropriateness for likely user groups such as children. This partnership with UNICEF is a clear example of this and encourages us to continue working towards achieving a digitalised world that is diverse but socially responsible and inclusive too.”

A statement read that Tech.mt recognises AI as being an integral part of future generations, and that is why we are currently working hard to ensure that future generations are all digitally enabled. The statement notes that this is also a continuation of the work being done in order to have a healthy supply of human resources for the technology sector in the coming years.

Tech.mt said that it is committed to assist tech companies based in Malta in exporting their technologies, as well as to assist in enabling sales channels for the Technology industry. “Through four key pillars of promotion, innovation, talent and assistance, Tech.mt is focused on increasing the value of the ICT industry in Malta.”

“Tech.mt also works closely with academic institutions to better understand how the local STEM and IT curricula can be improved and made more attractive for children and youth. Tech.mt is also focusing its energies on engaging the youth community in the transformation of the digital economy and making sure that their voices are heard.”

Tech.mt said that it remains committed to assisting all levels of society towards the development of emerging technologies and ensuring that nobody is left behind in such exciting but challenging times.

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