The United Nations has published a public call for nominating experts in various fields of AI to serve as members of the organisation’s multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence. According to the announcement, the last date for nominating experts is August 31, 2023.
The multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence was initially proposed in 2020 as part of the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The body is expected to “undertake analysis and advance recommendations for the international governance of AI” in order to address AI-related challenges at a global level and ensure responsible use of the technology.
“AI brings enormous benefits to the digital era, but it can also significantly compromise the safety and agency of users worldwide. Enhanced multi-stakeholder efforts on global AI cooperation are needed to help build global capacity for the development and use of AI in a manner that is trustworthy, human rights-based, safe and sustainable, and promotes peace,” reads the UN statement.
The nominated individuals are required to have expertise in AI governance and application and may also include government experts as well as experts from the industry, civil society, and academia.
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Why it matters:
The UN appears to be accelerating efforts to establish international cooperation for regulating AI, while several countries have already developed a framework for governing AI technologies. On the other hand, major AI companies like Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and Anthropic have collaborated to form a ‘Frontier Model Forum’ for ensuring safe deployment of AI models in collaboration with governments and civil society members. A consensus on a universal set of rules, principles, and ethics for regulation of AI technologies seems to be a preferred method of ensuring that human rights are protected at large. But, the effectiveness of such rules also depends on how strictly they are adhered to by the private sector as well as local governments. Whether or not a UN body will ensure greater level of enforcement by countries remains a question.
A global watchdog for AI? On July 18, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres had proposed the creation of a UN entity to govern the development of AI, emphasising on the need for a UN-level international body to address concerns related to the misuse of AI. The objective of the proposed watchdog will be to “support countries to maximize the benefits of AI for good, to mitigate existing and potential risks, and to establish and administer internationally agreed mechanisms of monitoring and governance,” the Secretary-General had noted. Members at the UN Security Council meeting deliberated upon the immediate risks to be addressed and fundamental measures, principles that countries must agree upon to regulate the use of AI in different sectors.
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