Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO holds first global conference to promote a humanist Artificial Intelligence

25 February 2019
Paris, France

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) changes the way we learn, work and live together, UNESCO is leading an international reflection to explore actions required to ensure that the potential of AI is harnessed at the service of humanity’s sustainable development.

“Principles for AI: Towards a Humanistic Approach? A Global Conference” (UNESCO Headquarters, 4 March, 9.30 am to 7 pm), aims to foster dialogue between all stakeholders from the public and private sectors, technical community, media and academia, civil society, international and regional organizations.

While AI advances make headlines, people worry that the technological revolution already underway will take over their lives and livelihoods. How much should machines be allowed to decide for us? Who writes what values and priorities into the algorithms of machines? If an AI miscalculation results in an accident, who is to be held accountable? What, if anything, is off-limits to AI?

“Artificial intelligence is humanity’s new frontier. The guiding principle of AI is not to become autonomous or replace human intelligence. But we must insure that AI is developed through a humanist approach,” says Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, who will open the Conference.

The Conference will gather high-level international speakers from both public and the private sectors including: Cédric Villani, winner of the 2010 Field Medal, the highest distinction in mathematics; Nanjira Sambuli, Web Foundation and Member of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation with Philip Dawson, Lead for Public Policy at Element AI; Terah Lyons, Executive Director of Partnership on AI; Sy Lau, Senior Executive Vice-President of Tencent. (see programme: https://en.unesco.org/artificial-intelligence/principles-ai-...). 

This unprecedented event will consist of four plenary sessions: Challenges and Opportunities of AI, The Universality of AI, Towards a Human-Centered Ethical AI, and New Architectures of international cooperation on AI: hacking “business as usual” in public policy development.

The conference will be followed by UNESCO’s annual Mobile Learning Week (ends 8 March), whose focus this year will be Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Development.

This conference is part of a series of UNESCO events on AI. It follows the debate on ethics of new technologies and artificial intelligence, Tech Futures: Hope or Fear? (22 January), and the Forum on Artificial Intelligence in Africa (12 and 13 December 2018). UNESCO’s work in this area reflects growing awareness that AI can help address many of humanity’s challenges, including those related to education, the sciences, culture, media, access to information, gender equality and poverty alleviation. But to put these opportunities to good use, AI must develop with respect to universally recognized rights and values.

****

Live streaming of the Global Conference: https://webcast.streamakaci.com/unesco/unescolive1

English interpretation will be available here:

https://webcast.streamakaci.com/unesco/unescolive2

More information: https://en.unesco.org/artificial-intelligence

Journalists wishing to cover the event should request accreditation from Djibril Kébé, UNESCO’s Media Section, d.kebe@unesco.org, +33(0)145681741