UNESCO’s global agreement and AI (Artificial Intelligence)

When Artificial Intelligence was in the creation process, no one could have anticipated the extent to which it would revolutionize human lives. In a short time, it has become an intrinsic part of human lives and continues to make lives easier every day. From using GPS in cars to buying things online, artificial intelligence is perhaps just everywhere. But with every marvel of scientific technology, there comes a set of responsibilities too. When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein and talked about Frankenstein’s creation, she was well aware of the responsibilities that science was going to entrust human beings with. Artificial intelligence is a modernized version of Victor Frankenstein’s creation, and to have an ethical code of conduct would just be the beginning of drawing a line between humans and AI.

In UNESCO’s global agreement on the ethics of AI, it catered to define the purpose of artificial intelligence with an intention to reach as many members of the human race as possible. Finland is an example of how AI has been employed for various purposes and yet managed to balance it with ethical requirements. There are some ways in which UNESCO’s global agreement on the ethics of AI will be beneficial:

  1. The issues of facial recognition would be sorted. As per the latest research, AI is not able to identify people of colour. This could give a racial dimension and a completely wrong perception of the AI. Hence, this would be a great step.
  2. AI could be useful in guiding people in our country for various aspects like health, education, awareness, and agriculture and may be instrumental in solving the complex social challenges created by other dictators.
  3. The balance of power among people and people in power would change as there would be guidelines to be followed for all. There would be no misuse for personal gains. The distribution of power would ultimately lead to the reduction of societal parity based on caste, economic status, or anything else.
  4. Data is one of the enormous industries today, and it continues to evolve every day. Giving control to the users to manage their data would ensure their privacy as well as sharing as per their wishes. It would also mean the reduction of the undue use of data for a variety of manipulative purposes or any other motives.
  5. Since AI ethics follow the idea of promoting awareness, it would be beneficial for people to understand what is good or bad for them and use AI in a constructive manner. It would also promote critical thinking among them and help their minds develop better.
  6. The transparency and accountability of AI-related technologies would imply the balance of power without any misuse or monopolistic control or power being concentrated in the hands of one person.

As it is said, with power comes responsibility. Therefore, if artificial intelligence is going to be present in human lives on a larger scale and multiply its influence with time, there needs to be some standard that defines the rules that would govern the functioning of AI. Such a standard would mean the safety of user data, its right use, and correct management. UNESCO’s agreement is a commendable step and a thought in a constructive direction. It can be a guide for governments and organizations to use AI judiciously to their benefit without becoming entirely dependent on it. They would make use of it as a framework to keep designing regulatory frameworks to create an impact on global problems like hunger, inequalities among people, poverty, and spread awareness (like the recent pandemic). It may take a few years to see the difference that this decision will make, but it would be of benefit to the coming generations.

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