Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

To Ensure the Safety of Artificial Intelligence, The U.N. Will Vote on its First Resolution on the Topic

On Thursday, the General Assembly will vote on a resolution that would be the first of its kind to address artificial intelligence at the UN. Its goal is to guarantee that this potent new technology is “safe, secure, and trustworthy,” benefits all countries, and upholds human rights.

The resolution’s sponsor, the United States, expressed hope that the international body would adopt it by consensus, meaning that all 193 U.N. members would support it.

If the resolution is approved, according to U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, it will be a “historic step forward” in promoting the responsible use of AI.      

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He stated in a statement to The Associated Press earlier in March that the resolution “would represent global support for a baseline set of principles for the development and use of AI and would lay out a path to leverage AI systems for good while managing the risks.”

The draft resolution seeks to ensure that all nations are represented in discussions on artificial intelligence and to bridge the digital divide that exists between wealthy affluent nations and less developed nations. Additionally, it seeks to guarantee that developing nations have access to the tools and resources necessary to profit from artificial intelligence (AI), which includes the ability to diagnose illnesses, forecast floods, assist farmers, and educate the next generation of workers.

 

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In addition to highlighting “the urgency of achieving global consensus on safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems,” the draft acknowledges the rapidly accelerating use and development of AI.

Additionally, it acknowledges that “the governance of artificial intelligence systems is an evolving area” and that more research into potential governance strategies is necessary.

Large tech firms have largely backed the need for AI regulation while attempting to influence laws to suit their interests.

 

The world’s first comprehensive AI regulations were finally approved by European Union lawmakers on March 13. After a few more procedures, the regulations are expected to go into force in May or June.

AI legislation are being developed by a number of nations, notably the United States, China, and the Group of 20 major industrialized nations. In order to guarantee that AI is used for the sake of humanity, the draft resolution also acknowledges previous U.N. initiatives, such as those led by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the International Telecommunication Union.

 

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In order “to have a truly global conversation on how to manage the implications of the fast-advancing technology of AI,” the United States, according to Sullivan, resorted to the General Assembly.

The draft resolution from the United States calls on all nations, tech communities, civil society, academia, research institutions, and governments “to develop and support regulatory and governance approaches and frameworks” for safe artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

The use of artificial intelligence systems “improper or malicious design, development, deployment, and use, such as without adequate safeguards or in a manner inconsistent with international law,” is discouraged.

 

The draft resolution states that one of the main objectives is to use AI to accelerate progress toward the badly behind-track development goals of the United Nations for 2030, which include gender equality, eradicating global poverty and hunger, enhancing global health, and guaranteeing high-quality secondary education for all children.

The proposal asks the other 193 members of the United Nations to help developing nations reap the rewards of digital transformation and safe AI systems. The statement underscores the importance of upholding, safeguarding, and advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the artificial intelligence systems’ lifespan.

 

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According to a senior U.S. official, the United States started conversations with all U.N. members approximately three months ago. It has since spent hundreds of hours in direct meetings with each country and 42 hours in negotiations, and it has taken feedback from 120 nations. Speaking under pseudonymity because he was not allowed to talk in public, the official stated that the resolution had gone through multiple iterations and had unanimous endorsement from all member nations last week.

The resolution “aims to build international consensus on a shared approach to the design, development, deployment and use of AI systems,” specifically to support the 2030 U.N. goals, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told AP last week.

 

It will be “an historic step forward in fostering safe, security, and trustworthy AI worldwide” if approved, the speaker claimed.