UN Security Council convenes to discuss AI risks

The first formal discussion on AI by the UN Security Council will delve into its potential risks, featuring presentations from global AI experts and Secretary-General Guterres.

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On 18 July 2023, the UN Security Council will gather in New York for its first formal discussion on the topic of AI.

The UN Security Council’s upcoming meeting is part of the United Kingdom-led initiative to assess AI impact on global peace and security. The UK aims to establish itself as a global leader in AI regulation and prioritise a multilateral dialogue on the potential risks associated with AI and seek potential solutions. James Cleverly, the British Foreign Secretary, will chair the meeting.

Some of the expected topics and potential risks that will be discussed include:

  • Use of AI in autonomous weapons
  • The potential use of AI in the control and management of nuclear weapons
  • Ethical implications
  • Economic impact
  • International cooperation and regulation

The meeting will also feature presentations by leading global AI experts and from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has been vocal about the risks associated with advanced AI technology in recent months. Guterres has described the concerns raised by scientists and experts as ‘deafening’ and has compared the threat of AI to the risk of nuclear weapons.

In September, he intends to establish an advisory board on AI to formulate UN initiatives. Guterres has also expressed openness to the possibility of a UN agency on AI, drawing inspiration from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s knowledge-focused approach and regulatory capabilities.