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United Nations approves its first resolution on artificial intelligence

The United Nations General Assembly has approved the first-ever resolution on artificial intelligence (AI). This international effort aims to ensure AI development is safe, ethical, and beneficial to all member nations.

The resolution, adopted unanimously on March 21st, 2024, underscores the rapid growth of AI and the urgent need for global consensus on its responsible use. It emphasizes the importance of AI systems that are “safe, secure, and trustworthy.”

Championed by the United States and co-sponsored by over 123 countries, the resolution highlights several key areas of focus:

– Safeguarding Human Rights: The resolution stresses that AI development and use must respect fundamental human rights and freedoms. This includes preventing bias and discrimination embedded in AI systems.

– Closing the Digital Divide: The resolution acknowledges the unequal access to AI technology between developed and developing nations. It calls for initiatives to bridge this gap and ensure all countries can benefit from AI advancements.

– International Guidelines: The document paves the way for the development of international guidelines on AI. These guidelines will address potential risks associated with AI, such as job displacement and autonomous weapons.

– Transparency and Oversight: The resolution emphasizes the need for transparency and oversight mechanisms in AI development and deployment. This includes ensuring explainability and accountability in AI decision-making processes.

Leaders around the world have hailed the resolution as a historic moment. US Vice President Kamala Harris called it a “first-of-its-kind global approach” to AI, while Secretary of State Antony Blinken described it as a “landmark effort.”

The UN resolution marks a significant step towards ensuring AI is harnessed for good. It sets the stage for continued international dialogue and collaboration on responsible AI development and use. This will be crucial in navigating the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the age of artificial intelligence.