Artificial Intelligence for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable … – Department of State

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September 18, 2023
On September 18, 2023, Japan, the Republic of Kenya, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America co-convened in New York City a ministerial side event during the United Nations’ 78th Session High Level Week.  Ministers from the con-convening countries, in addition to speakers from India, United Nations System, the OECD, leading AI firms, universities, and civil society organizations, focused on artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Efforts to achieve the SDGs are at a crossroads, and AI developments present new opportunities for the global community to act.  Representatives from governments, AI developers, and members of the multistakeholder community committed to the safe, secure, and trustworthy use of AI to tackle society’s greatest challenges.
During the event, representatives from Amazon, Anthropic, Carnegie Mellon University, Google, IBM, Inflection AI, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Schmidt Futures with their partners from around the world demonstrated concrete applications of AI that could advance our progress in achieving the SDGs, including applications focused on health, education, food security, energy, and climate action.
Representatives from the United Nations System – Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund Natalia Kanem, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology Amandeep Singh Gill, and Dr. Alain Labrique is the Director for the Department of Digital Health and Innovation at the World Health Organization – and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen discussed AI’s prospects for accelerating progress on areas ranging from economic development to public health and gender equality.
Participants acknowledged that if AI is deployed effectively and harnessed responsibly, it promises to drive inclusive and sustainable growth–reducing poverty and inequality, advancing environmental sustainability, improving lives, and empowering individuals in all societies across all stages of development.  They also recognized concerns the developing world could be left behind as AI advances rapidly, and that the technology has the potential to exacerbate inequality, entrench bias, and disrupt societies if not designed and developed responsibly and inclusively.  Participants acknowledged:
In New York, co-convening countries announced the following commitments:
Participating companies announced the following commitments:
Going forward, participants commit to continuing to work together to promote safe and inclusive access to AI around the world, with a particular focus on developing countries. They will continue to share information about AI concepts and tools that advance progress toward achieving the sustainable goals.
This high-level engagement demonstrates that countries and companies around the world are committed to ensuring that global attention, resources, and efforts to advance AI are directed to accelerate progress on the world’s most ambitious and pressing goals.



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