Imagine world of AI: Netanyahu’s speech at UNGA78

‘Our goal must be to ensure that AI brings more freedom and not less.’ | From the statement of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

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Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-eighth session. Source: UN Photo Library

In his address to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78), Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, discussed the importance of addressing the rise of AI as one of the most consequential developments of our time. Netanyahu emphasised that the AI revolution is progressing rapidly and that humanity may have only a few years to adapt to it.

Among the numerous world leaders who addressed this year’s debate, the Prime Minister of Israel stood out with strong focus on digital topics. In the following part, we present a section of the Prime Minister’s speech verbatim.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech

‘Ladies and gentlemen, whether our future will prove to be a blessing or a curse will also depend on how we address perhaps the most consequential development of our time, the rise of AI. The AI revolution is progressing at lightning speed. It took centuries for humanity to adapt to the agricultural revolution. It took decades to adapt to the industrial revolution. We may have but a few years to adapt to the AI revolution. ‘

Challenges the world has to address

‘The perils are great and they are before us. The disruption of democracy, the manipulation of minds, the decimation of jobs, the proliferation of crime, and the hacking of all the systems that facilitate modern life. But even more disturbing is the potential eruption of AI-driven wars that could achieve an unimaginable scale. And behind this, behind this perhaps looms an even greater threat. Once the stuff of science fiction, that self-taught machines could eventually control humans instead of the other way around. The world’s leading nations, however competitive, must address these dangers. We must do so quickly and we must do so together. We must ensure that the promise of an AI utopia does not turn into an AI dystopia. We have so much to gain. Imagine the blessings of finally cracking the genetic code, extending human life by decades, and dramatically reducing the ravages of old age. ‘

In the words of John Lennon – Imagine the world of/with AI!

‘Imagine healthcare tailored to each individual’s genetic composition and predictive medicine that prevents diseases long before they occur. Imagine robots helping to care for the elderly. Imagine the end of traffic jams with self-driving vehicles on the ground, below the ground, and in the air. Imagine personalized education that cultivates each person’s full potential throughout their lifetime. Imagine a world with boundless clean energy and natural resources for all nations.

Imagine precision agriculture and automated factories that yield food and goods in an abundance that ends hunger and want. I know this sounds like a John Lennon song, but it could all happen. Imagine that we could achieve the end of scarcity, something that eluded humanity for all history. It’s all within our reach. And here’s something else within our reach.

With AI, we can explore the heavens as never before and extend humanity beyond our blue planet. For good or bad, the developments of AI will be spearheaded by a handful of nations, and my country, Israel, is already among them. Just as Israel’s technological revolution provided the world with breathtaking innovations, I’m confident that AI developed by Israel will once again help all humanity. ‘

‘Our goal must be to ensure that AI brings more freedom and not less’

‘I call upon world leaders to come together to shape the great changes before us, but to do so in a responsible and ethical way. Our goal must be to ensure that AI brings more freedom and not less, prevents wars instead of starting them, and ensures that people live longer, healthier, more productive, and peaceful lives. It’s within our reach. And as we harness the powers of AI, let us always remember the irreplaceable value of human intuition and wisdom. Let us cherish and preserve the human capacity for empathy, which no machine can replace. Thousands of years ago, Moses presented the children of Israel with a timeless and universal choice. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse. May we choose wisely between the curse and the blessing that stand before us this day. —- ‘

A new world for a better future

‘Let us bring forth the blessings of a new Middle East that will transform lands once ridden with conflict and chaos into fields of prosperity and peace. And may we avoid the perils of AI by combining the forces of human and machine intelligence to usher in a brilliant future for our world in our time and for all time. ‘

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These resources are generated automatically by DiploAI system from the audiovisual recording. Resources have been kept in their original format, as AI has provided them (e.g. including spelling mistakes). The accuracy of the resources cannot therefore be guaranteed. The official record of the meeting is available on UN Web TV.