Artificial Intelligence: UNESCO adopts common values and principles to tackle the ethics of AI

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Artificial Intelligence: UNESCO adopts common values and principles to tackle the ethics of AI
Artificial Intelligence: UNESCO adopts common values and principles to tackle the ethics of AI

The ethics of Artificial Intelligence are complex, as the technology is increasingly present in daily life, from driverless cars to booking online flights. AI, according to UNESCO, also supports the decision-making in governments and the private sector, and is used to address global issues such as climate change

To ensure the healthy development of the technology, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), last Thursday, adopted a text defining the common values and principles in an effort to tackle the ethics of Artificial Intelligence.

The ethics of Artificial Intelligence are complex, as the technology is increasingly present in daily life, from driverless cars to booking online flights. AI, according to UNESCO, also supports the decision-making in governments and the private sector, and is used to address global issues such as climate change.

According to the UN body there was a clear need for review of the ethics of Artificial Intelligence, “We see increased gender and ethnic bias, significant threats to privacy, dignity and agency, dangers of mass surveillance, and increased use of unreliable AI technologies in law enforcement, to name a few. Until now, there were no universal standards to provide an answer to these issues”, UNESCO explained in a statement.

As a result, while mitigating its inherent risks, the adopted text aims to highlight the advantages of Artificial Intelligence. While addressing issues around transparency, accountability and privacy, with action-oriented policy chapters on data governance, education, culture, labour, healthcare and the economy, the text provides a guide to ensure that digital transformations promote human rights and work toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Going above and beyond what tech firms and governments are doing to guarantee individuals more protection by ensuring transparency, agency and control over their personal data, the text focuses on data protection.

The document also explicitly bans the use of Artificial Intelligence systems for social scoring and mass surveillance.

To help ensure that Artificial Intelligence becomes a more prominent tool in the fight against climate change and in tackling environmental issues, the text also emphasises that Artificial Intelligence actors should favour data, energy and resource-efficient advances and approaches.

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