IGF 2023 Town Hall #29 Impact of the Rise of Generative AI on Developing Countries

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (09:00 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (10:00 UTC)
WS 11 – Room J

Chat GPT, Generative AI, and Machine Learning

Debate - 60 Min


Released in the fall of 2022, ChatGPT continues to exert a significant influence on the global landscape, not only due to its current processing power but also owing to its immeasurable scalability and development potential. With the proliferation of generative AI, many clerical tasks and procedures traditionally performed by trained individuals are expected to be swiftly replaced by AI. It is becoming increasingly evident that AI will supplant routine clerical work in private companies, guide planning efforts in public institutions based on past precedents, and even encroach upon the expertise of highly specialized occupations. In other words, while this could present an opportunity for AI-utilizing companies to generate substantial profits through enhanced productivity, it also poses a formidable threat of job displacement for regular employees. Acknowledging this, leaders of developed countries initiated formal discussions on the necessity of government intervention and rule-making regarding this issue during the G7 summit held in Hiroshima in May 2023. Conversely, the debate surrounding the impact of opportunities and the threats posed by the rise of generative AI on developing countries has yet to deepen. For instance, in African countries, the high-speed internet infrastructure is still shortage, employment opportunities for young people remain limited in many nations, and the prerequisites for extensive use of generative AI are not necessarily in place. Furthermore, as generative AI progresses in developed countries and regulatory frameworks become more refined, the digital divide between developing and advanced nations is poised to widen. Given such circumstances, when considering the potential for the future spread and integration of generative AI worldwide, it is crucial to contemplate the implications for the digital economy in developing countries and the possible impact of generative AI. By seeking expert opinions on the opportunities and threats that may arise, sharing these perspectives in a Town Hall format with participants, and soliciting viewpoints from a diverse range of individuals, we aim to delve into our understanding of the impact of generative AI on the future Internet governance.


Mr.Tomoyuki Naito, Vice President and Professor, Graduate School of Information Technology, Kobe Institute of Computing, Japan.


Mr.Atsushi Yamanaka, Senior Advisor for Digital Transformation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan.
Mr.Robert Ford Nkusi, Founding Partner and CEO, Aurasoft Ltd., Rwanda.
Ms.Safa Khalid Salih Ali, Senior Business Intelligence Engineer & Software Engineer, Central Bank of Sudan, Sudan.
Dr.Sarayu Natarajan, Founder, Aapti Institute, India.

Onsite Moderator

Mr.Tomoyuki Naito, Vice President and Professor, Graduate School of Information Technology, Kobe Institute of Computing, Japan.

Online Moderator

Mr.Tomoyuki Naito, Vice President and Professor, Graduate School of Information Technology, Kobe Institute of Computing, Japan.


Mr.Tomoyuki Naito, Vice President and Professor, Graduate School of Information Technology, Kobe Institute of Computing, Japan.


1. No Poverty

Targets: xxx

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

1. There was a general consensus among panelists and participants that the rise of generative AI can have a positive effect on social and economic development in any country. 2. Furthermore, several opinions confirmed that even in developing countries, generative AI can contribute to new productivity improvements and increased employment opportunities if used wisely.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

While rule-making regarding the generative AI is progressing in the G7, there is generally no specific mention of generative AI in the digital transformation policies of many developing countries. It may lead to differences in the speed at which new employment creation opportunities such as prompt engineers. Thus, developing countries should also urgently formulate policies regarding the utilization of generative AI which will create jobs.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

The session was delivered in a town hall style to gather multiple voices and summarize what people of different statuses have considered about the proposed topic.

In the session, the moderator, Mr. Tomoyuki Naito, shared his intention behind proposing this session and its background, which was explained beforehand on the session page. It included repeated emphasis on the term ‘Generative AI’ during the AI-related sessions during IGF2023, including an opening remark provided by His Excellency Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan. Most sessions had been debating about the urgent necessity of common rules to guide the use of generative AI to avoid possible harm on both economy and society, including human rights. On the other hand, the moderator pointed out the opportunity side of generative AI, particularly for global south countries, which might lead to a huge possibility of job creation.

After all invited panelists’ succinct introduction in relation to their backgrounds as for the relation between ICT and development, the moderator posed a question about how all panelists consider the rise of generative AI represented by Chat-GPT. Is it a good thing for economic and social development aspects of developing economies or not?

Ms. Safa Khalid Salih Ali shared her views on the positive side of generative AI, which might be useful for financial sectors such as credit assessment at banking institutions. 
Mr. Robert Ford pointed out that the use of generative AI has huge potential in every country regardless of economic level differences. 
Dr. Sarayu Natarajan shared her views on positive side; however, she also mentioned downside risks of generative AI such as potential risks of existing jobs being replaced by AI as many international institutions are pointing out.
Mr. Atsushi Yamanaka declined to say YES or NO, but his personal view is rather positive if data that operates the generative AI could be appropriately collected and secured.

During the town hall, the moderator opened the floor to collect valuable feedback and questions. Several questions were raised by both onsite and online participants, including one about the possible use of generative AI in education. It was appropriately answered by one of the online audience members, which illustrated an ideal participatory interaction among all the participants.

The moderator shared an information about recent working paper released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) "Generative AI and Jobs: A global analysis of potential effects on job quantity and quality" that pointed out that the impact of generative AI on jobs could be larger in advanced economies and not much in developing economies due to the current nature of job distributions. He noted that this kind of analysis should be appropriately referred to as there might be huge potential for job creation opportunities in global south countries, so they should seriously consider its importance in their policy framework.

The session ends in one hour as scheduled, but this important topic should continue to be discussed among larger stakeholders. Its outputs should be appropriately and accordingly shared and adopted, particularly in global south countries, to avoid further enlargement of the digital divide.