UN Summit: Harnessing the Power and Potential of AI for Global Progress

The UN is holding a global conference to define the limits of artificial intelligence (AI) and use it to empower humanity.

In light of the fact that the advancement of AI is exceeding humanity’s ability to define its boundaries, the United Nations has set a goal of developing a comprehensive plan for efficiently controlling AI.

Harnessing AI Governance with the Oldest UN Agency

Scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday in Geneva, the “AI for Good Global Summit” will assemble approximately 3,000 experts from esteemed organizations such as Microsoft, Amazon, universities, and international institutions. The primary focus of the summit is to shape frameworks and strategies for the responsible handling of AI.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the head of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN’s agency specializing in information and communications technology, expressed the urgency of addressing the rapid advancement of AI. 

The ITU, headquartered in Geneva, believes that its wealth of experience can significantly contribute to the governance of AI. As the oldest agency within the UN, established in 1865, the ITU has played a crucial role in various technological milestones, including the adoption of the Morse code international maritime distress call “SOS” in 1906 and the coordination of activities related to radio frequencies, satellites, and 5G networks.

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Ensuring AI Serves Humanity

The UN is holding a global conference to define the limits of artificial intelligence (AI) and use it to empower humanity.

The summit aims to identify effective ways of utilizing AI to accelerate the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goals, which have been progressing at a slower pace. Areas of focus include health, climate change, poverty alleviation, hunger eradication, and access to clean water. 

Bogdan-Martin emphasized the need for AI to not exacerbate social inequalities or introduce biases related to race, gender, politics, culture, religion, or wealth.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the significance of the summit in ensuring that AI progresses in a manner that benefits humanity as a whole. 

While AI proponents praise its transformative potential in various domains such as work, healthcare, and creative pursuits, there are concerns about its potential to undermine democratic principles.

Serial AI entrepreneur Gary Marcus described the current situation as a “perfect storm” in which a powerful new technology, although not super-intelligent, is rapidly proliferating and significantly impacting our lives. 

Marcus emphasized the critical moment in history where the global governance required for AI development must be established thoughtfully to prevent a scenario in which a few companies exert disproportionate control over the lives of countless individuals.

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Source: AFP via MSN

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