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UN starts global initiative to address AI governance issues

A gathering of remarkable individuals graces the list of participants, featuring leaders from the tech industry, government representatives spanning from Spain to Saudi Arabia, and scholars hailing from the United States, Russia, and Japan.

On October 26, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres made a groundbreaking announcement regarding the formation of a 39-member advisory committee. This committee’s primary objective is to address the complex issue of global artificial intelligence (AI) regulation. According to the official statement, the committee’s members represent a diverse spectrum, including tech industry luminaries, government envoys from Spain to Saudi Arabia, and distinguished scholars from countries such as the United States, Russia, and Japan. Eminent figures from leading technology companies, including Hiroaki Kitano, the Chief Technology Officer of Sony; Mira Murati, the Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI; and Natasha Crampton, the Chief Responsible AI Officer of Microsoft, are among the committee’s members. Furthermore, the committee is comprised of representatives from all six inhabited continents and boasts an array of backgrounds, from AI expert Vilas Dhar based in the United States to Professor Yi Zeng from China and Egyptian lawyer Mohamed Farahat.

“The profound and far-reaching influence of AI is a challenge that is difficult to fully grasp,” Guterres stated in an official release. He went on to emphasize:

Ever since the introduction of ChatGPT by OpenAI last year, global interest and curiosity in this groundbreaking technology have surged. This surge has led AI researchers to voice concerns about its societal implications. Simultaneously, governments worldwide are actively formulating regulations to oversee the proliferation of AI, sparking calls from researchers and policymakers for enhanced international collaboration.

The United Nations plans to unveil preliminary recommendations by the end of this year, with comprehensive guidelines scheduled for the summer of 2024. The UN’s immediate priorities include establishing a universal scientific consensus on potential risks and challenges associated with AI while strengthening global cooperation in AI governance. The committee’s inaugural meeting is set to take place on October 27.

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