UN Forms High-Level Board To Explore AI Governance


The United Nations has taken a significant step towards understanding the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) by announcing the formation of a new AI advisory board. The board is made up of 38 individuals from a wide range of government, academia, and industry backgrounds and aims to analyze and provide recommendations for the global governance of AI.

Key Takeaway

The United Nations has formed an AI advisory board consisting of 38 individuals from government, academia, and industry to examine and provide recommendations on the global governance of AI. The board aims to build a consensus on the risks and challenges of AI, leverage AI for sustainable development goals, and enhance international cooperation on AI governance. With a positive and constructive approach, the board seeks to harness the transformative potential of AI for the benefit of humanity.

UN’s Strategy for AI Governance

The newly formed advisory board will act as a bridge between different AI initiatives within the United Nations and collaborate with industry leaders and stakeholders. By summer 2024, the board intends to develop recommendations on AI governance, coinciding with the UN’s planned “Summit of the Future” event. The primary tasks assigned to the board include building a global consensus on the risks and challenges of AI, utilizing AI for sustainable development goals, and enhancing international cooperation on AI governance.

Positive Approach and Focus on International Development

What sets this advisory board apart is its positive positioning, especially during these early stages. While concerns related to AI’s risks, such as national security threats, data protection, and misinformation, have been raised by various individuals, the board aims to take a constructive approach. The focus will be on international development and harnessing the transformative potential of AI for the benefit of humanity.

UN Secretary General António Guterres emphasizes the positive impact of AI on society, stating, “AI could power extraordinary progress for humanity. From predicting and addressing crises to rolling out public health programs and education services, AI could scale up and amplify the work of governments, civil society, and the United Nations across the board.”

Exploring Beyond “AI for Good”

While the advisory board initially focuses on “AI for good,” there is a possibility that it will delve into more critical explorations regarding AI. This could involve issues related to AI’s societal impact, control, and the prevention of misinformation. The board’s wide-ranging composition, consisting of executives from renowned companies like Alphabet/Google and Microsoft, along with experts from various fields, positions it to address a broad spectrum of concerns related to AI.

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