The powerful entities are increasingly recognizing both the promises and challenges of artificial intelligence. The key question revolves around the extent of their influence on progress, especially in the event of mistakes. Yesterday, the United Nations introduced a fresh AI advisory board consisting of 39 individuals from government, academia, and industry. Their mission is to analyze and propose recommendations for the global governance of AI.
The UN Establishes a High Level Board to Investigate AI Governance
This advisory board will function as a connecting group, encompassing any other AI-related initiatives orchestrated by the international organization, as confirmed by the UN. Evidently, the UN has been engaged in discussions with industry leaders and stakeholders for the past month to formulate an AI strategy and approach. The goal is to compile AI recommendations by the summer of 2024, coinciding with the UN’s “Summit of the Future” event. The inaugural meeting of the new advisory board is taking place today
The UN stated that the board will have the responsibility of “creating a worldwide scientific agreement on AI risks and challenges, using AI for the Sustainable Development Goals, and enhancing international cooperation in AI governance.”
What stands out about the board currently is its generally positive stance. At present, many individuals are expressing concerns about AI risks, such as national security threats, data protection, and misinformation. Additionally, next week, numerous global leaders and experts in the field will meet in the U.K. to address these issues at the AI Safety Summit. It remains unclear how these national and international initiatives will collaborate or enforce regulations beyond their respective areas of authority.
AI’s Positive Impact: United Nations and Tech Leaders Collaborate for Global Development”
The group of 39, including executives from Alphabet/Google and Microsoft, a digital anthropologist, professors, and government officials, aligns with the UN’s ethos. They take a positive and constructive stance on international development.
UN Secretary General António Guterres believes AI can drive remarkable progress for humanity, enabling predictions and crisis management, public health initiatives, and education services. AI has the potential to enhance the efforts of governments, civil society, and the United Nations. For developing economies, AI can replace outdated technologies and deliver essential services directly to those in need. The transformative power of AI for the greater good is truly astounding.
The UN describes the group’s “bridging” role and says it might become more actively involved in exploring critical issues beyond “AI for good.” Gary Marcus, who had a fireside chat at Disrupt in September discussing AI risks, flew from New York to San Francisco for our conference. He met with UN officials there. While recent advancements in areas like generative AI have brought the technology into the mainstream, Marcus’ perspective on the challenges highlights some of the worrisome concerns raised.