United Nations convenes meeting on Artificial Intelligence

In an unprecedented move, the United Nations Security Council conducted its inaugural meeting dedicated exclusively to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) on Tuesday.
Antonio Guterres at AI meetRepresentatives from member states gathered to discuss the potential benefits and risks posed by this rapidly evolving technology. During the meeting, differing viewpoints emerged, with China urging caution and the United States emphasizing the importance of safeguarding human rights.

Chaired by Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly as part of Britain’s July presidency of the council, the session shed light on the far-reaching impact AI could have on humanity. James Cleverly asserted that AI has the power to revolutionize every aspect of human life, making global governance of transformative technologies a pressing need, as AI transcends national borders. He further emphasized that AI might offer solutions to combat climate change and bolster economies but also warned against its potential to fuel disinformation and aid in the development of weapons, both by state and non-state actors.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, along with experts Jack Clark from AI startup Anthropic and Professor Zeng Yi from the China-UK Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance, briefed the 15-member council.

Antonio Guterres highlighted the potential grave consequences of both military and non-military applications of AI for global peace and security. He endorsed the idea of creating a new U.N. body to collectively govern AI, drawing inspiration from successful models such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun described AI as a “double-edged sword,” acknowledging its potential benefits and risks. He supported the idea of the U.N. taking a central coordinating role in establishing guiding principles for AI, emphasizing the importance of regulating and balancing AI’s scientific development with security to prevent misuse.

On the other hand, the United States expressed concerns about the potential human rights risks associated with AI, emphasizing that countries should collaborate in addressing these issues to safeguard peace and security. Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Jeffrey DeLaurentis, stressed that no member state should exploit AI to censor, repress, or disempower individuals.

Russia, however, questioned the need for the Security Council to discuss AI, suggesting that specialized platforms focusing on scientific expertise should handle the matter over an extended period, Reuters news report said.

The meeting signals a critical milestone in global discussions surrounding AI and its implications for international peace and security. As the world grapples with the transformative power of AI, finding a collective approach to its governance remains a paramount challenge, and further dialogue among nations is likely to follow.

Related News

Latest News

Latest News