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World’s first global AI resolution unanimously adopted by United Nations

Enlarge / The United Nations building in New York. (credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously consented to adopt what some call the first global resolution on AI, reports Reuters. The resolution aims to foster the protection of personal data, enhance privacy policies, ensure close monitoring of AI for potential risks, and uphold human rights. It emerged from a proposal by the United States and received backing from China and 121 other countries.

Being a nonbinding agreement and thus effectively toothless, the resolution seems broadly popular in the AI industry. On X, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith wrote, “We fully support the @UN’s adoption of the comprehensive AI resolution. The consensus reached today marks a critical step towards establishing international guardrails for the ethical and sustainable development of AI, ensuring this technology serves the needs of everyone.”

The resolution, titled “Seizing the opportunities of safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems for sustainable development,” resulted from three months of negotiation, and the stakeholders involved seem pleased at the level of international cooperation. “We’re sailing in choppy waters with the fast-changing technology, which means that it’s more important than ever to steer by the light of our values,” one senior US administration official told Reuters, highlighting the significance of this “first-ever truly global consensus document on AI.”

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