UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for a “united, sustained, global” strategy to tackle the risks posed by artificial intelligence’s rapid development, as world leaders met in the UK.
He called for “new solutions” to close the gap between AI and its governance, proposing that it should be based on the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Guterres was joined by other political leaders including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, US Vice President Kamala Harris and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen at the two-day conference at Bletchley Park.
The UN chief urged lawmakers and regulators to “get ahead of the wave” of emerging AI technology rather than playing “catchup”.
A failure to do so, he said, “increases the risk that the technology will be used maliciously by criminals or even terrorists”.
That will undermine security or information integrity, and run the risk that humans could lose control of it, leading it to develop in “unintended directions”, he added.
“We urgently need frameworks to deal with these risks, so that both developers and the public are safe and can have confidence in AI,” he said in a statement.
Guterres also called for a “systematic effort” to spread the technologies around the world to avoid exacerbating “the enormous inequalities that already plague our world”.
“We need a united, sustained, global strategy, based on multilateralism and the participation of all stakeholders,” he said.
“The United Nations is ready to play its part.”