World Bank: Applications of AI through the WBG Tech and Innovation Lab

by Analytics Insight

January 14, 2022

The World Bank has started leveraging AI for more innovative problem-solving approaches

The World Bank Group’s Technology and Innovation Lab serves as a knowledge and advisory hub around emerging technologies. The lab explores and provides technology advice on emerging technologies’ potential for innovative problem-solving and operationalization approaches in both WBG internal and external operations. The lab has partnered with WBG teams across various sectors to solve development challenges by applying user-centric design and technology foresight, and through prototyping and exploration with AI capabilities [e.g., machine learning (ML), neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), assistive technologies (chatbots), robotics] and other converging tech.


Developing Knowledge and Policies

Machine learning-based analytical projects:

• Automated text analytics- Monitoring the scope and coverage of projects related to forced displacement by multilateral development banks through the use of machine learning.

• Health data registries- Machine learning approaches are used to automate the processing, analysis and interpretation of data registries to help assess the impacts and results of the centralized purchase of medications and strategies for the hepatitis C virus.

• Credit scoring- Machine learning-based credit scoring model is applied to study how and which characteristics and behaviors predict creditworthiness differently for women and men.

• Measurements in land use- Remote sensing and machine learning is used to measure changes in land use to measure agricultural intensification in areas where administrative data is lacking, and data collection is costly.


The AI Committee is an internal administrative body under World Bank management established to:

(a)  Broadly oversee the implementation of the World Bank Policy on Access to Information the “AI Policy”)

(b)  Interpret the AI Policy in line with the AI Policy’s guiding principles

(c)  Make decisions concerning whether to exercise the Bank’s prerogative to disclose certain information that is on the list of exceptions (i.e., restricted information) under the AI Policy

(d)  Consider and decide on appeals filed if a request to access information has been denied by the World Bank. The AI Committee’s decisions on appeals are publicly available.

The AI Committee’s terms of reference are public (AIC TOR).  The AI Committee serves as the first stage of appeal for appeals alleging a violation of the AI policy and the first and final stage of appeal for those appeals making a public interest case and for appeals against decisions denying access to information based on the bank’s exercise of its prerogative to restrict. The AI Committee’s decisions in these cases are final.

The AI Committee makes its best efforts to reach a decision within 45 working days of receiving an appeal. The Annual Reports of the access to information policy record the number of appeals filed before the AI Committee each year.

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Analytics Insight

Analytics Insight is an influential platform dedicated to insights, trends, and opinions from the world of data-driven technologies. It monitors developments, recognition, and achievements made by Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics companies across the globe.

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