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Our Take on AI

| 2 minutes read

UN General Assembly Adopts Landmark Resolution on AI Governance

On March 21, 2024, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a groundbreaking resolution aimed at promoting the development and deployment of "safe, secure and trustworthy" artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The resolution, co-sponsored by the United States, together with over 120 Member States and led by the United States, represents a significant step forward in international efforts to develop a coordinated approach to AI governance.

The resolution recognizes the immense potential of AI systems to accelerate progress towards achieving the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while also acknowledging the risks posed by the improper or malicious design, development, deployment, and use of such systems. In particular, the resolution emphasizes the need to respect, protect, and promote human rights throughout the life cycle of AI systems, affirming that "the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online."

The resolution calls on Member States and other stakeholders to cooperate with and support developing countries in overcoming the unique challenges they face in keeping pace with rapid technological advancements. This includes providing assistance in areas such as capacity building, digital infrastructure connectivity, and access to technological innovations.

Importantly, the resolution urges all Member States and stakeholders to develop and support regulatory and governance approaches and frameworks related to safe, secure, and trustworthy AI systems. This includes promoting responsible and inclusive AI innovation and investment, implementing effective safeguards and risk management mechanisms, and fostering transparency, predictability, and understandability throughout the life cycle of AI systems.

The resolution also recognizes the fundamental role of data in the development and operation of AI systems, emphasizing the importance of fair, inclusive, and effective data governance. It urges Member States to share best practices and promote international cooperation on data governance to ensure greater consistency and interoperability of approaches for advancing trusted cross-border data flows.

Looking ahead, the resolution acknowledges the need for continued discussions on developments in the area of AI governance to ensure that international approaches keep pace with the evolution of AI systems and their uses. It encourages ongoing efforts by the international community to promote inclusive research, mapping, and analysis on the potential impacts and applications of AI systems, and to inform the development and implementation of effective, internationally interoperable safeguards, practices, standards, and tools.

The adoption of this resolution represents a major milestone in the global effort to ensure that AI systems are developed and deployed in a manner that is safe, secure, trustworthy, and aligned with international human rights law. As AI continues to advance at a rapid pace, it is crucial that the international community works together to establish a clear and coordinated framework for AI governance that promotes innovation while mitigating potential risks and harms.

The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a landmark resolution on the promotion of “safe, secure and trustworthy” artificial intelligence (AI) systems that will also benefit sustainable development for all.