IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

UNESCO completes major progress on establishing foundation of ethics for AI

By Catherine Knowles
Mon 21 Sep 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

UNESCOs Member States have announced there has been ‘major progress’ in the development of a global normative instrument for the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI).

In November 2019, the United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres congratulated the organisation for taking up this challenge, declaring that AI is a critical frontier issue for the whole UN system and the whole world.

In March this year, UNESCO asked 24 experts with multidisciplinary experience in the ethics of artificial intelligence to develop a draft recommendation on the ethics of AI.

UNESCO then launched a wide process of consultations to obtain the many points of view of stakeholders.

This involved experts from 155 countries, members of the public (through a global online survey), United Nations agencies, major stakeholders from the sector such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and the world of academe with the University of Stanford and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The resulting draft recommendation was submitted last week to UNESCOs 193 Member States. Negotiations will take place ahead of its planned final adoption by Member States at the organisation’s General Conference in November 2021.

According to a statement, the draft recommendation submitted to the international community establishes a number of overarching concepts. This includes the following.

Proportionality: AI technologies must not exceed what is necessary to achieve legitimate aims or objectives, and should be appropriate to the context.

Human oversight and determination: humans are ethically and legally responsible for all stages in the life-cycle of AI systems.

Stewardship of the environment and peace: throughout their lifecycle, AI systems must contribute to the peaceful interconnectedness of all living creatures with each other and respect the natural environment, notably with regard to the extraction of raw materials.

Gender-inclusion: AI technologies must not reproduce the gender inequalities found in the real world, notably with regard to salaries, representation, access, and stereotyping. Political actions, including measures of positive discrimination, are required to avoid these major pitfalls.

UNESCO states the organisation will assist governments and civil society players (corporations, members of the public, etc) in developing concrete awareness-raising campaigns and ethical impact assessment tools for AI in all fields.

In addition to establishing international consensus on the subject, UNESCOs experts urge Member States and AI players further to raise public awareness and stress that is important for everyone to be made aware of their digital rights.

UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay says, “We must make sure artificial intelligence is developed for us and not against us.

"We need a robust base of ethical principles to ensure artificial intelligence serves the common good. We have made this process be as inclusive as possible since the stakes involved as universal, she explained.”

In recent years and since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been ever more applications drawing on AI, notably with the aim of accelerating research into vaccines and improving tracing of the virus, UNESCO states.

AI has contributed to the development of telemedicine and distance learning. It has also been used to operate drones for the delivery of medical supplies and the need for a global regulatory instrument has grown on a par with the spread of AI applications.

According to UNESCO, the potential of artificial intelligence, as described in both scientific publications and works of fiction, results in fear that machines will take decisions out of human hands, that it will erode individuals right to and that it will expose people to manipulation to the detriment of their rights.

The quantity of data collected and processed daily raises concerns over confidentiality, privacy, and the reproduction of discriminatory practices and stereotypes. Hence the motivation to create a strong foundation of ethics.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
CRM
Zendesk announces new conversational CRM solutions
“The last few years have made it obvious that digital is the front door, convenience is paramount and relationships are anchored in conversations."
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare environments and care delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the healthcare industry while overcoming staff shortages, social distancing requirements, and lockdowns.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Wireless Nation
Wireless Nation, N4L provide 4G network to remote NZ schools
Wireless Nation and Network for Learning (N4L) have rolled out the Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) new 4G network to better connect three Chatham Islands schools.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Safety
Voxel hits total funding of $18M following ongoing wins
Since raising its seed round in September, Voxel has grown at pace, by decreasing on-site injuries by upwards of 80% and increasing operational productivity.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
SaaS
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implentations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Fonterra
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.