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Updated March 22nd, 2024 at 14:46 IST

UN unanimously passes first global resolution on AI

UN's nonbinding resolution advocates increasing privacy policies and strengthening oversight of AI technologies.

Reported by: Business Desk
United Nations
United Nations | Image:AP
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Global resolution on AI: The United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed its inaugural global resolution on artificial intelligence (AI) on Thursday, urging nations to uphold human rights, safeguard personal data, and monitor AI for potential risks. 

Proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China along with 122 other countries, the nonbinding resolution advocates increasing privacy policies and strengthening oversight of AI technologies.

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Senior US administration officials, briefing reporters prior to the resolution's adoption, highlighted its importance in governing AI development. US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield underlined the collective commitment of all 193 UN member states to regulate AI responsibly.

The resolution marks the latest effort by governments worldwide to shape the trajectory of AI amid concerns over its potential to disrupt democratic processes, facilitate fraud, and trigger substantial job displacement. It underscores the risks associated with the improper design, development, deployment, and utilisation of AI systems, which could undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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In November, the US, Britain, and several other nations revealed a comprehensive international agreement aimed at ensuring the safety of AI technologies. This agreement highlighted the importance of designing AI systems with security as a primary consideration.

While Europe has taken steps ahead of the United States, with EU lawmakers recently adopting a provisional agreement to regulate AI, progress in the US has been hindered by political polarisation. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has pursued AI regulation to mitigate risks to consumers, workers, minority groups, and national security.

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Despite potential resistance from countries like Russia and China, negotiations surrounding the resolution involved robust discussions. US officials engaged actively with these nations and others to strike a balance between promoting AI development and safeguarding human rights.

Like other governments, Chinese and Russian authorities are exploring AI applications extensively. Recent revelations by Microsoft exposed hackers from both countries using AI tools, underscoring the importance of international cooperation in addressing AI-related challenges.

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(With Reuters inputs)

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Published March 22nd, 2024 at 08:20 IST

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