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UN appoints AI global advisory council

The United Nations has appointed an artificial intelligence global advisory council to assess the implications of AI.

user icon Daniel Croft
Fri, 27 Oct 2023
UN appoints AI global advisory council
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The 38-strong advisory council was announced by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and will report on the opportunities and benefits that AI creates, as well as the risks faced by its adopters and wider society.

“In our challenging times, AI could power extraordinary progress for humanity,” said Guterres.

“[However], the potential harms of AI extend to serious concerns over misinformation and disinformation; the entrenching of bias and discrimination; surveillance and invasion of privacy; fraud, and other violations of human rights.”


He added that some of the risks raised by AI include a breakdown in social cohesion and threats to democracy and that global coordination on the issue is necessary.

Guterres has said that the council is tailored to represent the needs of all demographics, being geographically representative, gender-balanced, and age-inclusive.

It also includes members of different technology giants as well as university experts and government representatives.

Members include Microsoft’s chief responsible AI officer, Natasha Crampton; the Minister of State for AI for the UAE, Omar Sultan Al Olama; and Hiroaki Kitano, chief technology officer for Sony, to name a few.

Guterres said the council will release its initial recommendations by summer 2024.

The appointment of the council comes after several instances of bodies and agencies worldwide demanding a global response to the growing cyber threat.

Recently, the Vatican called on the UN for the development of AI-powered weapons to be brought to a halt until global regulations can be established.

“It is imperative to ensure adequate, meaningful, and consistent human oversight of weapon systems: only human beings are truly capable of seeing and judging the ethical impact of their actions, as well as assessing their consequent responsibilities,” the Foreign Minister for the Holy See, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, told the UN General Assembly.

“It is not acceptable that the decision about someone’s life and future be entrusted to an algorithm,” he later added, quoting Pope Francis.

Gallagher has said that AI should be used to address other global issues rather than in the development of more advanced and brutal weapons.

“New technologies should be used to mitigate the planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, and the urgency of acting now to safeguard the world we live in,” he said.

Prior to this, the chief executive of ChatGPT maker Open AI, Sam Altman, called for the US Congress to develop regulations, citing fears that AI could be used for widespread disinformation.

“I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong, and we want to be quite vocal about that; we want to work with the government to prevent that from happening,” said Altman.

“We try to be very clear about what the downside case is and the work that we have to do to mitigate that.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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