UN Adopts First Global Resolution on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the first-ever global resolution on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in March 2024. However, this resolution aims to ensure that all develop and use AI in a way that is safe, secure, and beneficial for all.

The United Nations General Assembly has come together to pass its very first global resolution on artificial intelligence (AI). The aim is to protect people’s rights and reduce risks associated with AI. The resolution emphasizes the need for “safe, secure, and trustworthy” AI systems. It underscores the importance of safeguarding human rights, protecting personal data, and mitigating potential risks associated with this powerful technology.

The resolution was proposed by the United States and supported by more than 120 other countries including China. The resolution emphasizes the need for nations to safeguard personal data and address potential issues like job loss and misinformation during elections.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, expressed that this decision demonstrates the world’s commitment to control AI rather than letting it control us. “Today, all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have spoken in one voice, and together, chosen to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

Potential Benefits

Various governments worldwide have been taking steps to shape the development of AI due to concerns about its potential negative impacts such as disrupting democratic processes, increasing fraud, and causing job losses. The resolution also highlights the risks posed by the improper use of AI systems, which could undermine human rights and freedoms.

While Europe has been proactive in regulating AI, the United States has been slower due to political polarization. However, efforts have been made to mitigate risks associated with AI, such as a new executive order aimed at consumer protection and national security. The negotiation process for the resolution took nearly four months and involved heated discussions among different countries, including those with differing views like Russia and China.

Despite international efforts to regulate AI, countries like China and Russia actively explore AI tools for various purposes, raising concerns about cybersecurity and espionage. In response to reports of hackers using AI for espionage, China has denied the accusations, while Russia has not commented on the matter.

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