UNESCO, EU Partner to Expedite Ethical Rule Implementation on Artificial Intelligence

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Ms. Audrey Azoulay
UNESCO’s Director-General

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Commission have reached an agreement aimed at accelerating the global implementation of UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Recommendation, endorsed by all 193 member states of UNESCO in November 2021, provides a universal normative framework for the ethical use of artificial intelligence and will be supported by a budget of €4 million to assist the least developed nations in establishing their national legislation.

In response to the urgent challenges posed by AI, the collaboration between UNESCO and the European Commission will facilitate the development of strategies and regulations at the national level for low-income countries.

Since its adoption, nearly 30 countries have begun utilizing UNESCO’s Recommendation to create their own domestic laws, ensuring that artificial intelligence respects fundamental freedoms, human rights, and benefits humanity as a whole.

The Recommendation is the first universal normative framework for the ethics of AI and is based on the promotion and protection of human rights, human dignity, and environmental sustainability. It advances principles such as accountability, and the rule of law, and includes concrete policy chapters that call for better data governance, inclusivity and gender equality.

Announcing the agreement, UNESCO’s Director-General Ms. Audrey Azoulay, said: “In the face of the pressing challenges posed by AI, we need to move faster by providing more support to the low-income countries. I commend the decision of the European Commission to join forces with UNESCO in supporting these countries, by financing the mobilization of experts and the organization of training. This is multilateral cooperation at its best.”

Under the agreement, UNESCO will establish and operationalize the “AI Ethics Experts without Borders” (AIEB), a global facility of experts. This platform will offer on-demand support and tailored policy advice to bolster the capacity of member states’ institutions in implementing the Recommendation.

Furthermore, UNESCO will organize an annual “Global Forum on the Ethics of AI” to serve as a structured learning platform and facilitate the sharing of global best practices among AI stakeholders worldwide as well as develop a toolkit for judicial operators on AI.

To read the full text of the Recommendation please visit https://bit.ly/43cEZWr.