UN Chief Antonio Guterres has officially endorsed the proposal to establish a watchdog for artificial intelligence (AI), similar to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Read the full story.
The growing concerns surrounding AI, particularly with the emergence of generative AI and its potential for spreading misinformation and producing fake content, have prompted the need for such a regulatory body.
During a press briefing, Guterres emphasized the importance of taking these warnings seriously and acknowledged the need for a high-level AI advisory body. This body would regularly review AI governance practices, providing recommendations to align them with human rights, the rule of law, and the greater societal good.
Guterres expressed his intention to commence work on this initiative by the end of the year.
While endorsing the idea of an artificial intelligence agency inspired by the IAEA, Guterres clarified that it could only be created by member states and not by the Secretariat of the United Nations.
The IAEA, headquartered in Vienna and established in 1957, focuses on ensuring the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technologies, monitoring compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and promoting atomic security. Currently, it has 176 member states.
OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, recently suggested that an agency modeled after the IAEA could impose restrictions on AI deployment, enforce safety standards, and monitor computing power usage.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also expressed support for the idea, envisioning the UK as a hub for international AI safety regulation. In line with this, Britain plans to host a summit later this year to address the challenges and risks associated with AI on a global scale.
While Guterres appreciates the concept of a summit in Britain, he stressed the need for significant preparatory work beforehand. He plans to select a scientific advisory board comprising leaders in artificial intelligence and science from various UN organizations in the coming days, emphasizing the importance of conducting severe groundwork in advance.