UN Secretary-General initiates High-Level Advisory Body on AI governance

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has unveiled a High-Level Advisory Body on AI to guide global AI governance. Guterres calls for a multistakeholder conversation on AI governance, with the new advisory body leading the way.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has established a High-Level Advisory Body on artificial intelligence (AI) to improve global AI governance in the swiftly evolving AI landscape. The primary aim of this advisory body is to address both the immense potential and potential harm that AI can bring to humanity.

This body, comprised of 38 experts, will work independently to offer recommendations in three crucial areas: international AI governance, understanding and addressing risks and challenges, and harnessing AI to expedite the achievement of sustainable development goals. These recommendations will contribute to discussions surrounding a proposed Global Digital Compact, with the overarching goal of optimising AI’s benefits while minimising its risks for all of humanity.

Guterres emphasised that AI has the capability to significantly advance various sectors, ranging from forecasting crises to enhancing public health and educational services, thereby amplifying the efforts of governments, civil society, and the UN. AI could play a crucial role in addressing the climate crisis and achieving sustainable development goals by 2030.

Why does this matter?

Presently, AI expertise is concentrated within a limited number of organisations and countries, which poses a risk of global inequalities and issues related to privacy, bias, discrimination, and misinformation. To counter these challenges, Guterres called for a diverse and collaborative conversation on AI governance involving experts from various fields and stakeholder groups, with the newly established advisory body serving as the starting point.