The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a historic resolution on Thursday (21 March) focusing on the promotion of safe and secure AI systems for sustainable development.

The resolution follows a series of global initiatives to regulate AI due to concerns about potential disruptions to democratic processes, increased fraud and job losses.

Europe is leading in AI regulation with EU lawmakers adopting a provisional agreement, while the Biden administration in the US has faced challenges in pushing AI regulation through Congress.

The resolution promotes the development of “safe, secure, and trustworthy” AI systems that benefit sustainable development, highlighting the importance of respecting human rights throughout the AI life cycle.

Over 120 Member States co-sponsored the resolution, which recognises AI’s potential to accelerate progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The resolution calls for cooperation to bridge the technological gap between developed and developing nations, aiming for inclusive access, to close the digital divide and increasing digital literacy.

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In a press statement, the UN said the resolution will be a model for addressing AI challenges in other sectors including peace, security and responsible military use of AI autonomy.

The resolution aims to complement existing UN initiatives and emphasises the responsibility of the international community to govern AI with respect for human rights and freedoms.