In early February, ministers and representatives from the 194 member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will convene for the Global Forum on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This forum provides an avenue for member states to assess the advancements in global AI governance and engage in discussions about the national regulations being formulated to ensure the responsible use of this technology for the greater good.
Scheduled for February 5–6, the meeting is convened at the behest of Director-General Audrey Azoulay and Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob.
The UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, unanimously endorsed by Member States in November 2021, laid the foundation for the world’s first global framework in this domain. It facilitated the creation of a global governance structure centred on human values, addressing a void that existed previously.
Two years on, over 50 states have utilised UNESCO’s methodological tools and expertise to assess their readiness for artificial intelligence and enhance their national laws and policies.
During the 2nd edition of the Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, member states will present their recent progress and ongoing projects. The forum aims to strengthen collaboration by sharing best regulatory practices, preventing an “AI Wild West,” and ensuring the technology serves the common good.
On the first day of the forum, approximately ten global private entities will endorse UNESCO’s recommendation, pledging to adhere to the ethical principles it outlines. This initiative is part of UNESCO’s efforts to engage the private sector in implementing ethical practices and constructing reliable technologies.
UNESCO will also unveil several initiatives, including its AI Ethics Experts without Borders Network—a global network of experts to support states and policymakers—its Global AI Ethics Observatory, and its Women4Ethical AI platform.