World Government Summit: New UN Advisory Group to Transform AI Governance

Amid a smorgasbord of different national, multilateral and global attempts to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), it can be hard to take stock of all the rules that govern—or attempt to—the emerging technology.

The United Nations is attempting to rise above that morass, with its own effort to issue a set of recommendations for governance of AI. Its new advisory body, made up of 39 members from a wide range of countries and sectors, began working last fall to provide recommendations on the form and function of a new international agency for the governance of AI. The group has already issued an interim report on “Governing AI for Humanity,” which proposes a variety of measures to strengthen the governance of AI and recommendations on ethical AI deployment, accountability, and making AI more inclusive.

The co-chair of the group in charge of drafting the U.N.’s AI rules warned on Tuesday that these kinds of recommendations must ultimately become binding lest they dissolve into insignificance. “We have the legitimacy of U.N. organizations…we are building on that trust; the U.N. charter, international law, and human rights,” said Carme Artigas, the co-chair of the U.N.’s high-level advisory body on AI and Spain’s former minister for digitalization and artificial intelligence. Emphasizing the importance of accountability, she added: “Whatever we do must be binding, otherwise it makes no sense.”

Artigas issued the warning during a panel discussion at the World Governments Summit in Dubai, which brought together several members of the U.N. advisory group to share their perspectives and was moderated by TIME executive editor Naina Bajekal. The body will publish its final report later this year, following an ongoing public consultation process, ahead of the U.N.’s Summit of the Future.

See full article from Time.

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