UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector Invites Experts to contribute to an open discussion on Artificial Intelligence at IGF 2018


In order to reflect on the significant impact of emerging and smart technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) on the Organization’s core mandate to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image and build inclusive knowledge societies, UNESCO’s Communication and Information (CI) Sector, with partners, will be organizing an open discussion on “Harnessing AI to Foster Knowledge Societies and Sustainable Development” during the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in November 2018  at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

The event will be dedicated to unpacking the technological, ethical, political, social, and legal implications of the development and application of AI and is conceived as an open forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on these issues to explore policies, practices, measures and mechanisms needed for harnessing AI to advance knowledge societies and sustainable development.

The Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO therefore invites interested researchers and experts to participate in this event and submit their expression of interest.

The expression of interest, not to surpass 4 pages, must include 1) a CV 2) a brief overview of a possible intervention in the framework of the event. Documentation must be received by 10 September 2018 (midnight CET) and sent to ai-ci@unesco.org. Enquiries can be directed to the same email address.

Experts are invited to submit their CV and expression of interests around any of the following  key areas and questions:

  1. Access to Information and Knowledge: How could AI-technologies shape humanity’s access to information and knowledge? How could the potential of AI foster open and inclusive knowledge societies?  How can Open Educational Resources, Open Access, Open Data, Open Content and multilingualism be promoted through AI? How can news, data, information, and knowledge be produced, distributed, and assessed, with media and information literacy, through AI technologies?
  2. Bridging the AI divide: How can the AI technologies divide between and amongst countries be analyzed?  How can new schema for collaborative research and strategies be formulated to create a global network of research institutions?
  3. Freedom of expression, and privacy: In the context of AI powered by big data and algorithmic organization of information and communication, how can the human rights implications of AI, including for freedom of expression and privacy, be addressed?  
  4. Journalism and media development: What is AI’s impact on news and media production and dissemination? How has the practice and value of journalists, journalism and media in the digital age evolved?  What is the potential of AI to strengthen journalism and journalism education, and a free, pluralistic and independent media, both on- and offline?
  5. Information Ethics: How can a global, pluralistic, multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder (e.g. public and private sectors, developed and developing countries, etc.) reflection on the ethical implications of AI be ensured?  How can the transparency and accountability of algorithms that benefit humanity and are based on respect for human rights, gender equality and for cultural diversity be guaranteed?
  6. An open and inclusive multi-stakeholder approach: How can an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder approach be established at national and international levels to tackle the complexity of AI issues, in line with UNESCO’s Internet Universality indicators framework which advocates for the development of AI along the R.O.A.M principles of human rights, openness, accessibility and multi-stakeholder participation? More information can be found at the following address: https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality
  7. AI in Sustaining Peace and fostering sustainable development: How can AI and machine learning contribute to maintaining peace and promote resilient societies? How can the changing nature of threats arising from technological developments and the issues of cybersecurity and cyberterrorism be addressed in order to effectively combat violent extremism and other unforeseen threats?

UNESCO particularly encourages candidacies from experts from developing countries, youth, and women.  UNESCO will provide travel sponsorship to a limited number of experts selected to attend the pre-event as key panelists and contributors.