U.S. Guides New UN Rules On AI

The U.S. is pushing a new measure to reinforce the first-ever globally-based AI regulatory policy from the United Nations.

The U.N. initiative comes at a time when 37 of 126 global countries have implemented AI regulations in 2024, according to Stanford University’s AI Index. That’s a big jump from 2022, when only one AI regulatory action was introduced, the Index reported.

The U.S. AI enforcement push also coincides with the rollout of the European Union’s AI Act. That legislation, voted into law on March 13 and set to go live on May 1, reshapes the region’s artificial intelligence usage landscape, taking a risk-based approach to technology compliance.

Now, the U.N. resolution on AI looks to expand guidance and enforcement globally, calling for “safe, secure, and trustworthy” artificial engagements in all U.N. countries (193 countries in total).

The U.S. wants fellow U.N. members to expand oversight of AI use cases with policies that leverage the technology in significant new ways, like creating new disease treatments, predicting and managing major weather events, and training individuals in a new world of work where AI is already playing a major role.

This from the U.N. Joint Statement on a new Proposed U.N. General Assembly Resolution on Artificial Intelligence Systems.

The United States, along with 54 co-sponsors who join me in this statement, and 40 who are here at this stakeout, believe that artificial intelligence, or AI, has enormous potential to shape our economies, societies, and the world for the better – and that we must ensure these benefits extend across the globe to countries at all levels of development. For that reason, the United States, with broad consensus from Member States, has introduced a United Nations General Assembly resolution for consideration that aims to articulate a shared approach to AI systems.

The resolution calls on Member States to promote safe, secure, and trustworthy AI systems to address the world’s greatest challenges, including those related to poverty elimination, global health, food security, climate, energy, and education. We are resolved to bridge the artificial intelligence and other digital divides between and within countries through capacity building, increasing digital literacy, and other actions.

Consensus on this important topic would help extend the benefits of AI to Member States across all regions and development levels, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The text also establishes a shared vision that AI systems should be human-centric, reliable, explainable, ethical, inclusive, privacy preserving, and responsible, with a sustainable development orientation, and in full respect, promotion and protection of human rights and international law. And it affirms principles that will help make that vision a reality.

As AI technologies rapidly develop, there is urgent need and unique opportunities for Member States to meet this critical moment with collective action. We have and will continue to engage with all stakeholders in this process, including members of the private sector, the technical community, civil society, and academia, and we urge all Member States to join more than 60 co-sponsors in co-sponsoring and supporting the adoption of this resolution.

A Weighty Measure

The U.S. AI resolution has been in the works for three months. The State Department played a major role in gathering support for the measure, with support from 120 countries.

“(We wanted) to have a truly global conversation on how to manage the implications of the fast-advancing technology of AI,” said U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in comments to the Associated Press. The resolution “would represent global support for a baseline set of principles for the development and use of AI and lay out a path to leverage AI systems for good while managing the risks.”

The United Nations will reportedly take up the measure by the end of March. While U.N. resolutions aren’t legally enforceable, the uniform support from 120 countries on the AI measure should carry significant weight in global governments as they establish artificial intelligence policies.

If passed, “this resolution will be a historic step forward in fostering safe, secure, and trustworthy AI worldwide,” Sullivan noted. He also called for a global “consensus” on AI use, management, and compliance.

U.S. United Nations envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield said unchecked AI usage could lead to social problems worldwide, especially in less developed countries. The U.N. measure, she said, would be a road map for all countries to follow in regulating AI.

Greenfield added that AI “has enormous potential to shape our economies, societies, and the world for the better—and we must ensure these benefits extend across the globe to countries at all levels of development.”

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *