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Weekly Wrap - 22nd Nov


From AI in Asia to questioning if metrics like the GDP really matter— here’s your weekly wrap

Artificial Intelligence will soon be used extensively by Asian governments to improve services. AI has become a buzzword in Sri Lanka at the moment, as many sectors recognize the urgent need to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In Tokyo, local governments are already using it, including introducing systems which automatically respond to user inquiries even on holidays and at night. Meanwhile, Indonesia plans on replacing ministerial aids with machines, and ministers have been instructed to remove two ranks of public officials.


Do metrics like the GDP really matter? Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate in economics and the co-author of Measuring What Counts: The Global Movement for Well-Being,  argues that the GFP doesn’t measure everything that matters; and should be retired. As the world faces the climate crisis, an inequality crisis, and another crisis where democracy is concerned, can democracies thrive if there is no shared prosperity?  Despite these issues, the manner in which economic performance is measured gives no hint that we are facing a problem.


What do digital banks in Asia need to know if they are to do better, and be profitable? One would be to know how to monetize data, and turn compliance into a competitive advantage. This also looks at enhancing customer experiences, including under-served SMEs, open ecosystems, and building data into the banking blueprint. Read the key observations from Oracle’s latest research on lessons digital banks in Asia need to heed, here.


The Ujamaa philosophy was introduced in Kenya under Julius Nyrre – in which education was interfaced with rural development. How does this concern Sri Lanka? Through education reforms made in 1944 and 1972, in which the focus was on rebuilding rural development by involving schools to and integrating development from a primary level. The similarities between Sri Lanka and Kenya is that they were both under Colonial rule – and a rule in which rural development through education was sabotaged. Subsequently, Sri Lanka’s education has multiple issues. Here is Dr. S.B. Ekanayake, UNESCO’s former Basic Education Advisor to Central Asia’s take on potential solutions.


What more would you like to read about? Let us know in the comments.

Aisha Nazim

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