New York, 27 October 2023 (TDI): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has introduced a groundbreaking effort by establishing a High-Level Advisory Body on artificial intelligence (AI) to elevate global governance of these swiftly advancing technologies.

AI holds immense potential for humanity’s progress, but it also poses risks, as highlighted at the launch event. From crisis prediction to enhancing public services, AI has the power to significantly augment the efforts of governments and organizations.

Its transformative impact is vast and challenging to fully comprehend. The world urgently requires this technology as a catalyst for positive change and acceleration.

In light of the severe consequences of the climate crisis experienced by numerous nations, the 2030 Agenda faces significant challenges.

Antonio Guterres emphasized the potential of AI to reverse this situation, enhancing climate initiatives and advancing progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

However, this positive transformation hinges on the responsible use and widespread accessibility of AI technologies, especially for developing countries that require them the most.

Antonio Guterres highlighted the current scenario where expertise in AI is concentrated within a select few companies and countries. This concentration poses a risk of exacerbating global inequalities and widening existing digital disparities.

The potential negative impacts of AI are far-reaching, including concerns about misinformation and disinformation, reinforcement of biases and discrimination, invasion of privacy through surveillance, fraud, and violations of human rights.

Guterres cautioned that the malicious use of AI could erode trust in institutions, weaken social cohesion, and pose a threat to democracy.

He stressed the urgent need for a global, interdisciplinary, and multi-stakeholder dialogue on AI governance to ensure that its benefits are accessible to all of humanity and that the associated risks are minimized.

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Antonio Guterres stated that this group will operate independently, following fundamental principles. The Advisory Body’s initiatives will be all-encompassing, rooted in the universal values outlined in the UN Charter.

The recommendations from the Advisory Body will contribute to the preparations for the Summit of the Future in the coming September. Particularly, these recommendations will play a role in the discussions regarding the proposed Global Digital Compact, he added.