The United Nations' role in international AI governance

19 March 2024

This note provides a summary of a workshop discussion exploring proposals for new institutional functions related to international governance of artificial intelligence (AI). The workshop was jointly hosted by the Royal Society, the United Nations (UN) High-Level Advisory Body on AI, and Responsible AI UK on 28 February 2024 at Carlton House Terrace. It was chaired by Dame Wendy Hall FREng FRS, a member of the UN Advisory Body, and was opened with remarks from Dr Amandeep Singh Gill, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

The workshop convened a diverse range of experts in order to scrutinise and suggest improvements to the UN Advisory Body’s interim report Governing AI for Humanity, published in December 2023. The discussions focused on the following four (out of seven) institutional functions outlined in the report:

  • To assess regularly the future directions and implications of AI.
  • To develop and harmonise standards, safety, and risk management frameworks.
  • To promote international collaboration on talent development, access to compute. infrastructure, building of diverse high-quality datasets, responsible sharing of open-source. models, and AI-enabled public goods for the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • To monitor risks, report incidents, and coordinate emergency response.