UNESCO’s international agreement on AI ethics looks great, but is it really?
193 countries have signed UNESCO’s agreement on AI ethics. They include Russia, China and Iran. The signatories are obliged to bring in laws dictating how AI may and may not be used. The agreement aims to remove discrimination from AI and limit mass surveillance of people going about their daily business. But there are no sanctions for rule-breakers. One could, therefore, reasonably argue that the agreement allows countries to look as if they are signing up to a worthy cause whilst in practice they do not change anything. What looks like a step forwards is potentially a step backwards. Topics such as AI discrimination and CCTV with facial recognition capabilities are easy. Just wait until we get on to lethal autonomous weapons and artificial general intelligence. If international bodies such as UNESCO do not aim much higher, then global AI regulation is going to be toothless.
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