Two UNESCO debates on ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Gene Editing (11 & 12 September)

Paris, France

At the initiative of Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and in partnership with the Government of Japan, UNESCO will host a roundtable discussion, Artificial Intelligence: Reflection on its Complexity and Impact on Society, as AI comes to play an ever growing part in the provision of goods and services, administration and in the everyday lives of people.

The roundtable discussion will take place on 11 September (6.15 pm to 8pm) and be moderated by Professor Peter-Paul Verbeek, of the Faculty of Philosophy of Twente University (Netherlands), who is also a member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). Leading experts in robotics, AI and human creativity, so-called intimate computing, and political science will take part in the debate, the first of a series, organized by UNESCO’s Social and Human Science sector.

On 12 September (11 am to 1pm), UNESCO will host another roundtable debate, Genome editing: Why ethics matter, which will be moderated by Professor Hervé Chneiweiss, Chairperson of the Ethics Committee of France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and member of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO (IBC). The discussion will focus on the ethical challenges of genome editing which is becoming ever more easily accessible to researchers in different parts of the world. The roundtable is the first of a series to be organized in coming years to highlight current and potential areas of research and application using genome editing techniques that will impact humans, animals, plants and the environment, and to bring these issues to the discussion of the general public.

These events mark the 25th anniversary of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, and the 20th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee and COMEST.


Media accreditation: Djibril Kébé, UNESCO Media Section,, +33(0)145681741

Media Contact: Lucia Iglesias, UNESCO Media Section,, ++33(0)145681702