The UN has established a new body to regulate the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The new group will be tasked with developing international standards for the use of AI and will also advise on ethical issues surrounding the technology.
The UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) approved the creation of the group, which is known as the Group of Governmental Experts on Artificial Intelligence.The group will be made up of 25 experts from around the world and will be co-chaired by the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
The group will have its first meeting in Geneva in June 2021, where it will discuss the potential impact of AI on international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international development cooperation, and international environmental law.The group will also discuss how to ensure that AI is used to benefit humanity as a whole, rather than just a few individuals or corporations.
“Artificial intelligence is a game changer for human rights,” said Francesca Bignami, the chair of the UN’s ECOSOC committee on AI. “We need to ensure that it is developed in a way that benefits humanity as a whole.”
The creation of the group was proposed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. The proposal was supported by more than 60 countries at the UN’s ECOSOC meeting in July 2018.The new group is not the first time that the UN has discussed AI.
In December 2017, the UN’s ECOSOC established an open-ended working group to explore how AI technologies could be used to address global challenges such as poverty and climate change. In January 2018, the working group released a report that included recommendations for how AI could be used to improve global governance. These recommendations included using AI to better predict natural disasters and to provide early warning systems for humanitarian crises.