Unlocking the power of ethical AI in sustainable development

By G. Ramos, UNESCO and John Giusti, GSMA

Artificial Intelligence has extraordinary potential to boost economies, improve lives and preserve the environment. It’s swiftly becoming one of the most exciting tools in the field of sustainable development. However, to effectively deploy AI systems to address sustainability challenges, human beings need to be at the absolute centre of its development. In practical terms, this requires rapid adoption of smart principles in regulation, alongside human capital empowerment and technology-related investment.

In line with the values, principles and policy areas of UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which has now been adopted by 193 countries worldwide, and given the importance of the involvement and commitment of the private sector, UNESCO and the GSMA have signed a strategic partnership to work together on the implementation of the recommendation. For the GSMA, this new partnership builds on the organisation’s ongoing ‘AI for Impact’ programme, which is supporting GSMA members to accelerate deployment and adoption of data-driven products and services which adhere to ethical and privacy principles.

Thanks to this recent agreement, signed at the GSMA’s Mobile360 event in Mexico City, UNESCO and the GSMA will support and promote the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation and GSMA AI ethics principles with the private sector in Latin America. This important new collaboration will include exchanges of experience, discussion forums, joint research and publications, and the implementation and dissemination of readiness and ethical impact assessment tools.

Both institutions will also support capacity-building for policymakers and the private sector in the Latin America region on policy, regulatory and ethical considerations related to AI, using GSMA training courses, among others, and in line with the UNESCO Recommendation.

Alongside this, UNESCO and GSMA will jointly design, deploy and implement initiatives aimed to raise awareness and promote the importance of AI ethics in the region, using UNESCO’s Recommendation and GSMA principles as the reference framework.

Additionally, GSMA will become a member of the Ibero-American Business Council to promote the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation.

Together, we look forward to playing an active role in unlocking the power of AI, based on ethical principles, to address some of the world’s largest sustainable development challenges.