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UNESCO’s Artificial Intelligence ethical framework

Emerging Technologies Ethics
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The UNESCO, in its report on the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies, A Roam Perspective noted that there are risks and opportunities in AI adoption. It identified four core areas – ROAM – that will be affected AI:

  • Human Rights such as freedom of expression, privacy and equality;
  • Openness with regards to knowledge, open data as well as open and pluralistic markets;
  • Inclusive Access in regard to research, human resources, access to data, multilingualism and hardware;
  • Multistakeholder governance

Additionally, there are also cross-cutting issues including gender equality, youth empowerment, trust and ethical dimensions. 

The report provides options for action:

Overarching Options All stakeholders can consider addressing AI in relation to communication-information through:

  • Using UNESCO‚Äôs Internet Universality indicators to measure human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation and to thereby map and improve the ecosystem in which AI is developed, applied and governed.
  • Applying human rights norms that can inform more specific guidelines for rights to expression, privacy, and participation in public life.
  • Raising awareness of ownership and access to big data, AI skills and technologies, and the issues of who benefits, as well as harms such as marginalization or manipulation of human agency.
  • Assessing algorithmic discrimination in order to protect the right to equality of all, in particular of historically marginalized populations.
  • Participating in interdisciplinary research on how AI intersects with human rights, openness, accessibility and multistakeholder governance, and promoting Open Access publishing of the research results.
  • Upholding open market competition to prevent monopolization of AI, and requiring adequate safeguards against violation of ethical practices by market actors.
  • Facilitating development of norms and policies for improving openness and transparency in AI algorithms through elements of ex-ante information disclosure and ex-poste monitoring of algorithmic decision-making.
  • Working to reduce digital divides, including gender divides, in regard to AI access, and establishing independent monitoring mechanisms.
  • Motivating for more active participation in AI governance from all stakeholder groups, including but not limited to Governments, the Private Sector, Technical Community, Civil Society, Academia, International organizations and Media.
  • Ensuring gender equality, linguistic and regional diversity as well as the inclusion of youth and marginalized groups in multi-stakeholder dialogues on AI issues.
  • Integrating discussion of AI issues into relevant events such as international days around press freedom, disability, and universal access to information, and drawing in networks such as UNITWIN, Orbicom, Gapmil, and Gamag, as well Category 2 institutes, NGOs, IFAP national committees and UNESCO National Commissions.