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Historic UN Resolution Charts Course for AI to Uplift Humanity

In a groundbreaking move, the United Nations has taken the first bold steps to ensure artificial intelligence (AI) becomes a great force for good in service of all humanity. On March 21st 2024, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted its inaugural resolution providing a global framework to steer AI’s rapid development and deployment in an ethical, sustainable direction.

Titled “Safe and Trustworthy AI for Sustainable Uplift“, this landmark resolution represents a hard-won consensus among 193 nations on a vision for harnessing AI’s breathtaking potential while proactively addressing risks to human rights, democracy, and equitable development.

The stakes could not be higher. AI is already turbocharging solutions to the world’s greatest challenges – from detecting pandemics before they spread to boosting renewable energy production. Yet this dual-use technology also brings concerning risks, with AI disinformation emerging as a new threat vector undermining fair elections around the globe.

The transformative UN resolution charts a course to maximize AI’s upside for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, fighting climate change, and reducing inequalities. Core tenets include:

  • Ethics by Design: Mandating AI systems be developed from the outset with robust safeguards for data privacy, transparency, and accountability to protect human rights, freedom of expression, and democratic norms.
  • Bridging the Digital Divide: Ensuring developing nations gain access to AI capabilities, training, and governance frameworks so all can share in this revolution’s benefits – not just tech superpowers.
  • Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration: Bringing together government, industry, academia, and civil society to develop agile, adaptable AI governance norms that keep pace with rapid innovation.
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United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield hailed the resolution as “reaffirming the commitment to the dignity and humanity that should be at the core of this technology’s development and deployment“. AI thought leaders praised its holistic vision as a pragmatic foundation for cooperation.

Of course, hard work remains to transform these principles into effective national policies, international coordination mechanisms, and enforceable standards. But by uniting the global community behind people-first priorities, the UN resolution marks a pivotal step in charting an ethical, equitable course for AI’s next era.

The race is on to shape the new machine age as a force for universal good. With this historic framework, the world takes a giant stride to ensure uplifting all of humanity becomes AI’s prime directive.

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