UN General Assembly adopts resolution for safe, secure AI promotion


KATHMANDU, MARCH 25: The seventy-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution on artificial intelligence seeking its ‘safe, secure and trustworthy’ promotion. The UNGA on March 21 adopted the significant resolution, recognizing the proliferation of AI and its impact on the achievement of SDGs and seeking global consensus for safe, secure and trustworthy AI.

According to the document, the safe, secure and trustworthy AI systems are human-centric which fully respect, promote and protect human rights and international law, maintain privacy, and enable progress towards SDGs and sustainable development in three fronts- economic, social and environmental.

Similarly, it promotes peace and digital divide within and among countries, the resolution mentioned. The resolution underlines, “AI systems in the non-military domain (the life cycle of which includes various stages like pre-design, design, development, evaluation, testing, deployment, use, sale, procurement, operation and decommissioning) are such that they are human-centric, reliable, explainable, ethical, inclusive, in full respect, promotion and protection of human rights and international law. ”

The UN has called upon the member states and invited stakeholders to take action for cooperation and extend assistance to the developing countries so that they could be ensured with inclusive and equitable access to reap benefits from digital transformation and AI system. The UN member states are encouraged to prepare policies and regulations to foster competition in safe, secure and trustworthy AI systems and technologies associated with it.

Moreover, it has attached significance to continuation of debates on unfolding incidents and updates relating to the governance of AI for the international approaches to be abreast with the evolution of AI systems and their uses. The document read, “It encourages continued efforts by the international community to promote inclusive research, mapping and analysis that benefit all parties on the potential impacts and applications that artificial intelligence systems and rapid technological change can have in the development of existing and new and emerging technologies and on accelerating the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and to inform how to develop, promote and implement effective, internationally interoperable safeguards, practices, standards and tools for artificial intelligence designers, developers, evaluators, deployers, users and other stakeholders for safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems”.

The member states are further called upon to close gender digital divide. They are called to “adopt specific measures to close the gender digital divide and to ensure that particular attention is paid to access, affordability, digital literacy, privacy and online safety, to enhance the use of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence systems, and to mainstream a disability, gender and racial equality perspective in policy decisions and the frameworks that guide them”.

In this regard, the UN News wrote: Ms Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, who introduced the draft resolution, highlighted the opportunity and the responsibility of the international community “to govern this technology rather than let it govern us”.

While adopting the resolution, the UNGA reaffirmed international law, the Charter of the UN and recollected UDHR. Also reaffirmed for it is the resolution entitled, ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The United States-led draft resolution was adopted by the UNGA and backed by more than 120 Member States, according to the UN News.