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3 Ways Indonesians Use Generative AI for Social Impact

By Guest Writer on October 11, 2023

generative ai indonesia

ChatGPT, Bard, and DALL-E are just three of the many Generative Artificial Intelligence platforms that are gaining increasing interest in the international development sector. The Government of Indonesia has taken a proactive stance towards AI by publishing a national strategy for artificial intelligence.

The Indonesian government has a shared vision of an AI-powered nation, where innovation knows no bounds and dreams become reality through 4 key missions:

  • Unleashing the Power of Collaboration for a Transformed Nation
  • Empowering Exceptional Minds with Character and Competence
  • Building an Ecosystem for Data and Infrastructure, Propelling National Progress
  • Upholding Ethics and Values for a Harmonious Digital Future

The Indonesian government wants to transcend limits and push boundaries, transforming the nation’s trajectory in five priority sectors

  • Health: Igniting a Revolution in with Artificial Intelligence
  • Government Reform: Unleashing the Potential of AI for a Transformed Public Sector
  • Education and Research: Empowering Minds, Enriching Futures with AI
  • Food Security: Cultivating a Resilient Future with AI
  • Smart Mobility/Smart Cities: Pioneering Urban Transformation through AI

What Do Indonesians Think About GenAI

Kopernik conducted a survey and a series of interviews throughout May-June 2023 to gain a better understanding of Indonesia’s development sector’s perspectives on utilizing GenAI and future outlook.

The Survey of Generative AI Applications in Indonesia’s Development Sector gathered responses from 121 participants including NGOs, social enterprises, academic and research institutions, aid agencies, and philanthropic foundations.

According to the survey:

  • 59% of the respondents reported that their organization has some awareness or is very familiar with the use of GenAI.
  • 36% use GenAI on a daily basis or quite frequently.
  • 35% employ GenAI for research and idea generation
  • 31% for content creation and copy edits
  • 16% in translation.

These findings indicate that the development sector of Indonesia has shown interest and has started adopting GenAI for work purposes. This pattern of usage is consistent across all types of development sector institutions.

generative ai indonesia
While respondents view the future outlook of GenAI as promising, almost half of them  expressed concerns about its possible negative impact, including over-dependence, job displacement and information reliability & accuracy. One respondent stated “people are replacing their thinking with [Gen AI]. But it’s not meant for that. It’s a tool to shape your ideas, enhance output and free up time for more important things”.

This indicates that incorrect and irresponsible usage of Gen AI may lead to issues such as data bias, misinformation and uncontrolled utilization.

3 Ways Indonesians Use GenAI for Work

Survey respondents were interested in sharing their experiences and tips on utilizing GenAI for daily work purposes. The use cases varied in terms of the type of GenAI used, and the required proficiency level to better utilize the platforms. Here are three uses cases for GenAI in social impact programs:

DALL-E to Visualize Inclusive Forest City

An aid agency utilized DALL-E to visualize an aspirational image of an inclusive forest city. They used keywords generated from the results of a foresighting workshop to generate an aspirational image of the future capital city.

Their prompt for DALL-E was something like:

  • “Generate an image of a forest city that embodies connectivity, vibrancy, accessibility, low carbon emissions, circularity, resilience, security, technological efficiency and inclusive economic opportunities for all.”*

In fact, the image for this post and the survey results report came from the GenAI platform Adobe Firefly, by using the prompt, “Generate an illustration for ‘people conducting analysis on AI usage in the development sector in Indonesia’”

ChatGPT to Resolve Website Issues

A social enterprise utilized ChatGPT to resolve website glitches they were experiencing independent of specialized assistance from a website developer. They followed the step-by-step instructions from ChatGPT without the assistance of an IT Engineer.

The prompts they used with ChatGPT were along the lines of:

  • “I have a website based on ‘webflow’, and it is currently facing an error “HTTP Error 500 (Internal Server Error)”. I don’t have a web developer, can you help provide steps on how to solve this issue?”
  • “Can you provide more explanation on step 4?”

ChatGPT and R Studio to Visualize Data

A social enterprise utilized ChatGPT and R Studio to transform a set of raw data from an Excel sheet into a scatter plot, visualizing data for decision making without the need of specialized data scientists .

Prompts that can achieve this end results:

  • “Generate R code to visualise this dataset with scatter plot: [paste the original excel data].”
  • “Using the same dataset, make it more interactive, i.e. I can see the data when I hover on the chart”.
  • “Using the same dataset, instead of a scatter plot, create a stacked bar chart”.

GenAI Skills Are Rare and Expensive

Although Gen AI is globally available, and some platforms even offer free access, it still requires a specific environment for efficient utilization.

  • Users need access to electricity, internet connectivity, and a mobile device.
  • Basic digital literacy skills, such as internet navigation and identifying suitable platforms
  • Proficiency in generating prompts is also important,

We need tailored training programs for disadvantaged communities, to enhance their understanding of, and engagement with GenAI. This would foster a more equitable utilization of this technology across Indonesia.

Tungga Dewi, CEO and co-founder of Perfect Fit says that, “As Kopernik helps micro small enterprises develop their skills in creating Facebook ads and utilizing e-commerce, we need to add ChatGPT and Generative AI to the curriculum to reduce inequalities”.

By Hafiza Raisya Indrani, a Senior Analyst at Kopernik

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