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UN Passes Landmark Global Resolution on Artificial Intelligence

Jeff Joyce
Thursday, 21st Mar 2024
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
UN global resolution on AI

On March 21, 2024, the United Nations General Assembly made a historic move by approving the world’s first-ever global resolution on artificial intelligence.

“The inappropriate or malevolent design, creation, deployment, and utilization of artificial intelligence systems present risks that may undermine the safeguarding, advancement, and enjoyment of human rights and basic freedoms,” said one of the officials. “We believe that the resolution achieves a suitable balance between advancing development and upholding human rights.”


Navigating the delicate balance between pioneering advancements and privacy encroachments in artificial intelligence is akin to walking a tightrope.

This isn’t just about keeping our robots friendly; it’s way bigger. We’re talking about ensuring that AI systems respect our privacy, safeguard human rights, and don’t go rogue on us. Let’s break down what this means for you and me.

Led by the United States and co-sponsored by 122 countries, the resolution laid out three key goals:

  • Protect personal data: Your digital footprint is yours alone. This agreement aims to keep it that way.
  • Safeguard human rights: From freedom of speech to preventing discrimination – your rights are front and center.
  • Monitor AI risks: Like any powerful tool, AI needs checks in place. Think of it as having a watchdog for potential mishaps or misuse.

This worldwide agreement not only garners attention; it actively motivates countries to manage AI responsibly, ensuring its growth is secure and beneficial internationally.

Global Impact

This document, though nonbinding, sets the tone for shielding human rights and individual privacy because our digital footprints are massive now thanks to emerging tech like AI systems.

We’re sailing through choppy waters here — the rapid pace of tech advancements means regulations need to keep up without stifling innovation. Governments are recognizing this balance by encouraging safe exploration while drawing clear lines around no-go zones for developers.

The resolution represents the most recent effort in a string of initiatives undertaken by governments worldwide to keep an eye on AI advancement. This comes in response to concerns regarding its potential to manipulate democratic processes, exacerbate fraudulent activities, and lead to substantial job displacement, among other potential harms.

Discussions were intense, especially with countries like China, Russia, Cuba, and others that have differing perspectives on this matter.

Back in November, the United States, Britain, and over a dozen other nations revealed the first comprehensive international pact outlining strategies to safeguard artificial intelligence from malicious actors. They advocated for the development of AI systems with built-in security measures, emphasizing the concept of “security by design.”

Europe is already ahead of the United States as EU lawmakers recently reached a provisional agreement to regulate AI technology. Despite efforts by the Biden administration to push for AI regulation, the divided U.S. Congress has made limited progress.

In October, the White House issued a new executive order aimed at mitigating AI risks to consumers, workers, and minority groups, while also enhancing national security measures.

Similar to governments globally, officials in China and Russia are actively exploring the utilization of AI tools for various purposes. Microsoft reported last month that hackers from both countries were utilizing Microsoft-backed OpenAI software to refine their spying capabilities.

Written by Jeff Joyce

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