UNESCO hosts debate on ethics of new technologies and artificial intelligence “Tech Futures: Hope or Fear?”


LIVE WEBCAST at 5 pm GMT +1: English | French

The rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies such as robotics, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, are transforming professions, economies and industries, and challenging traditional ideas about what it means to be human. In this context, UNESCO will host a debate on the ethics of new technologies and artificial intelligence entitled “Tech Futures: Hope or Fear?” on 22 January (UNESCO Headquarters, 5 pm to 6:30 pm, Room II).

UNESCO considers that global reflection on these issues is of crucial importance to ensure that new technologies, notably those based on AI, serve the good of societies, contribute to sustainable development and respect human rights and human dignity. New technologies, notably AI developments and applications need to be regulated respecting global norms and standards.

Andrés Roemer, Mexican writer and creator of La Ciudad de las Ideas, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge, will moderate the debate and experts will present their views on the implications of technological advances for humanity. They will debate pros and cons of controversial issues raised by discoveries in the life sciences and AI and try to reflect on how these innovations may impact our future and what needs to be done to safeguard human rights and human dignity.

Speakers will include: - Bunmi Banjo, Former Head of Brand & Digital Skills at Google Africa, CEO, Kuvora Inc; Moran Cerf, Professor of Neuroscience and Business at the Kellogg School of Management and the Neuroscience Programme at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA); Priscila Chaves Martinez, co-founder and executive director of 10X, innovation for impact, Customer Experience Strategist for Latin America's largest AI firm Cognitiva; - Constanza Gómez-Mont, founder and CEO of C Minds, an innovation “think-and-do-tank” for emerging cities, Luisa Munaretto, founder of the Venture Capital firm “Tech-IA Impact Invest”, investor in start-ups and board member of several companies, Floyd Romesberg, biotechnologist, biochemist, and geneticist, leader of the team that created the first Unnatural Base Pair (UBP).

The debate is organized with support of Irene Zundel, Mexican visual artist. Her exhibition “Beyond Reality” will be on show at UNESCO in Paris (Hall Ségur), from 18 to 25 January, with an opening ceremony in the presence of the artist on 22 January (6.30 pm, Hall Ségur). Irene Zundel’s work offers a personal interpretation and demonstration of the influence of technology and AI on human conscience.

The debate will be live webcasted at 5 pm GMT +1: English | French


Media contact:

Roni Amelan, UNESCO Media Section, r.amelan@unesco.org, +33(0)145681650


Media Accreditation:

Laetitia Kaci, UNESCO Media Section, l.kaci@unesco.org, +33(0)15681772



See also:

More information on the debate

AI with Human Values for Sustainable Development

Ethics of Science and Technology