April 19, 2024
the collaborative UN-Dutch project

UNESCO and Dutch Authority Team Up to Define Best Practices for AI Regulation

The United Nations and the Dutch government have unveiled their joint initiative to establish a framework for overseeing the ethical aspects of artificial intelligence (AI).

On October 5th, the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), formally introduced the ‘Supervising AI by Competent Authorities’ project. This initiative’s primary objective is to collect data concerning how European nations regulate AI.

The project has received financial support through the European Commission’s Technical Support Instrument (TSI), and the information gathered will eventually lead to a set of best practice recommendations.

Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Science, emphasized that this discussion transcends mere technology; it’s fundamentally a societal matter. She stated that, with this, they are deliberating on the kind of world they desire to inhabit. To shape the technological evolution of AI, it requires an effective governance framework grounded in the ethical and moral values that each person cherishes.

In addition to informing best practices, the data collected will be instrumental in devising future training sessions aimed at enhancing institutional capacity in this domain. UNESCO had previously played a significant role in formulating ethical guidelines for AI in November 2021, which were adopted by all its member states. These recent efforts by UNESCO align with the European Union’s passing of the AI Act in parliament in June 2023. The AI Act encompasses a comprehensive set of regulations governing AI development within the EU. It was initially proposed by the European Commission in April and garnered overwhelming parliamentary support. Subsequently, member states are engaged in negotiations with the parliament to finalize the details.

Following the passage of the bill in parliament, the EU also introduced an initiative to expedite access to supercomputers for AI startups operating in the region.

Furthermore, individual European countries have been contemplating their own AI regulatory measures and development strategies. On August 25th, Spain disclosed its intentions to establish a local AI regulatory agency and a national strategy to ensure inclusive, sustainable, and citizen-centric AI development within the country.

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