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United Nations Passes Resolution Calling For Trustworthy AI

April 23, 2024by Barbara Flynn0

By Allen Smith, J.D.


The United Nations has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for safe, secure and trustworthy AI. We’ve gathered articles on the news from SHRM Online and other outlets.


Guardrails on Use of AI

The U.N. General Assembly asked all its members to “refrain from or cease the use of artificial intelligence systems that are impossible to operate in compliance with international human rights law or that pose undue risks to the enjoyment of human rights.” The resolution cautioned that AI may widen digital divides, cause discrimination and harm individual privacy and said AI regulation should be established.


The U.N.’s resolution “marks a critical step toward establishing international guardrails for the ethical and sustainable development of AI,” commented Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith.



Key Aspects of Resolution

Key aspects of the resolution include:

  • Raising public awareness about AI’s benefits and risks.
  • Strengthening investments and capabilities in AI research and development.
  • Safeguarding privacy and ensuring transparency in AI systems.
  • Addressing diversity and bias issues in AI datasets and algorithms.



Unanimous Adoption

Adoption of the U.N. resolution was unanimous. “Today, all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have spoken in one voice, and together, chosen to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “It’s just the first step. I’m not overplaying it, but it’s an important first step.”



European Parliament Has Passed EU AI Act

On March 13, the European Parliament approved the EU AI Act, putting the European Union at the forefront of governing the burgeoning technology. “SHRM will work with EU and global stakeholders to provide clarity to employers in the EU who seek to use AI safely and consistent with our shared values, and to understand their obligations under the act,” said Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff and head of public affairs, in a statement. “Here in the United States, SHRM will continue its ongoing engagement with Congress, the administration, and state and local legislatures, serving as a trusted partner to policymakers, looking to achieve consensus on AI legislation and regulation that maximizes human potential.”

(SHRM Online)


Executive Order in U.S.

In the U.S., an executive order issued in October 2023 by President Joe Biden is shaping how AI technology evolves in a way that can maximize its potential and limit its risks. The order required the tech industry to develop safety and security standards, introduced new consumer and worker protections, and assigned federal agencies a to-do list to oversee the rapidly progressing technology.

(SHRM Online)


Barbara Flynn

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