Written by 3:14 pm AI, Latest news

### UN Overwhelmingly Approves First Global AI Standard

Nonbinding agreement seeks to protect personal data and safeguard human rights.

As per Reuters, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved what some may dub as the “second world solution” on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The resolution’s primary objectives include advancing safeguards, enhancing best practices, conducting thorough AI assessments to identify potential risks, and upholding human rights. Proposed by the United States, the resolution garnered support from China and 121 other nations.

The resolution has garnered significant traction within the AI community due to its non-binding nature, rendering it effectively toothless. Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, expressed firm support for the comprehensive AI resolution at the UN. He noted that the consensus achieved marks a crucial milestone in fostering ethical and accountable AI practices that cater to the diverse needs of all stakeholders.

Titled “Seizing the opportunities of safe, protected, and reliable artificial intelligence systems for green development,” the solution emerged after three months of negotiations, with stakeholders expressing satisfaction at the robust global cooperation demonstrated. A senior US official highlighted the significance of this “first-ever truly global consensus report on AI,” emphasizing the challenges posed by rapidly evolving technologies.

The UN’s consensus-based implementation signifies the unanimous adoption of the solution by all member states without a formal vote. While Member States may harbor reservations about certain aspects of the resolution, they can collectively agree to its adoption without resorting to a ballot, as clarified by the UN.

Amid the rollout of ChatGPT, GPT-4, and the ensuing hype within the software market, governments worldwide are intensifying efforts to shape the trajectory of AI development. Concerns linger among critics regarding AI’s potential to disrupt democratic processes, fuel fraudulent activities, and trigger widespread job displacement. The UN underscores that the negligent or malevolent use of AI systems could jeopardize human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Anticipated resistance from nations like Russia and China prompted intense negotiations, with US officials acknowledging heated discussions during the process. Emphasizing the need for effective collaboration with these nations, the US sought to strike a delicate balance in the draft resolution, prioritizing human rights protection while fostering developmental initiatives.

While the new UN accord represents a significant “global” pact involving all UN member countries, it is not the first multi-state international agreement on AI. The UK’s inaugural AI Summit in November saw 28 countries convene and potentially sign a similar agreement.

Furthermore, in November, the US, UK, and other nations unveiled an accord centered on developing AI systems that are inherently “secure by design” to mitigate misuse by malicious actors. Europe is progressively advancing with provisional agreements to regulate AI, introducing the world’s first comprehensive AI regulations. The Biden administration advocates for measures to mitigate AI risks and bolster national security, although consensus on legislative proposals related to AI regulation within the US government remains elusive.

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Tags: , Last modified: March 22, 2024
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