Brainstorming on the UNESCO AI Ethics Recommendation 20/04/2022 13:00 – 20/04/2022 16:00, Paris

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The General Assembly has adopted, in November 2021, the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. This document is the first global instrument regulating Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is according to its preamble “a standard-setting instrument developed through a global approach, based on international law, focusing on human dignity and human rights, as well as gender equality, social and economic justice and development, physical and mental well-being, diversity, interconnectedness, inclusiveness , and environmental and ecosystem protection”. It aims at guiding AI technologies conception and use in a responsible direction and intends to provide universal values ​​and principles as regards their development.

Applications of artificial intelligence technologies may be beneficial for the economy, public management and, above all, for us citizens of the world. At the same time, the predictive power of the machine, the risks generated by the opacity of the system’s functioning having regard to the potential errors and unavoidable bias implemented in the machine, as well as the possession by a few groups of unprecedented informational power generate fears for the future of our humanity and for social justice. In this context, the Recommendation adopted by the General Assembly of UNESCO is intended to be a major and global response to these concerns.

The main aim of this initiative is to disseminate the main elements and challenges of this UNESCO Recommendation and to support its effectiveness and implementation. Within the framework of UNESCO’s Information for All Program (IFAP), the Info-ethics group intends to fully contribute to the dissemination of the Recommendation, by helping to understand it and ensuring that each region and sub-region appropriates the principles and lines of action contained therein.

It is in this spirit that we invite you to a 3 hours “brainstorming” session, the April 20, from 13:00 to 16:00 CET, where the guiding ideas of the Recommendation will be presented. This brainstorming will be followed by regional conferences or seminars on specific themes. These regional activities will ensure the original appropriation of the text, taking fully into account the regional context and cultural specificities. Invitation to these regional activities will follow.

Provisional Agenda

Chair: Ms. Dorothy Gordon (IFAP Chair)


1. Opening and welcome remarks. (1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.)

Mr. Tawfik JELASSI, Assistant Director General in Communication and Information, UNESCO

2. Why this recommendation? Which objectives? (1:10 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.)

Ms. Gabriela RAMOS, Assistant Director General in Social Sciences and Humanities, UNESCO

3. The Recommendation – its story: the process followed and the main points of discussion. (1:20 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.)

Teacher. Dr. Fatima ROUMATE, Expert from the Ad-hoc High-Level Expert Group

4. AI Ethics documents overview: (OECD Guidelines, Council of Europe Resolution…): major trends; originality (in terms of focus, objectives and implementation) of the UNESCO Recommendations. (1:35 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Teacher. Dr. Yves POULLET, Emeritus Professor at the University of Namur, Honorary Rector of UNamur and Associate Professor at UC Lille, member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and member of the Litigation Chamber of the Belgian authority of Data protection

Values ​​and principles

Moderator: Dr. Marielza Oliveira (Ms.), IFAP Secretariate and DIR/POM, UNESCO.

1. The Recommendation and the Protection of individual interests and freedoms: Dignity and Human Rights (Privacy, freedom of expression) (2:00 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.)

Mr. Cordel GREEN, Executive Director, Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, Vice-Chair of International Center for Information Ethics

Discussant: Ms. Xianhong HU (IFAP), Program Specialist, Digital Innovation and Transformation Section, Communication and Information Sector

2. The Recommendation and the Protection of collective and societal interests: environment, social justice and peaceful, just and interconnected society (2:25 p.m. -2:55 p.m.)

Teacher. R. Siva PRASAD, Honorary Professor, University of Hyderabad

Discussant: Prof. Amaro la Rosa, Professor at Universidad Femenina del Sagrado Corazón at Lima, Peru. Psychologist and Journalist.

Questions & Answers: 2:55 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

Principles and data governance at the organisations’ level, at a country’s level and at a public level: how to make the UNESCO recommendation effective?

The role of Technology facing Law and Ethics? How to build up an inclusive digital Society Technology? How to implement these Recommendations at the national, regional and international level? Monitoring and Assessment (3:05 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.)

Prof Stefaan VERHULST, Professor, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory (The GovLab), Editor-in-Chief of Data & Policy, New York University – NYU

Discussant: Dr. Siddharth Peter de Souza, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Global Data Justice Project, Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society.

Questions & Answers: 3:35 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Conclusion: How IFAP might contribute to create a global ethical digital Society? Dorothy Gordon (3:50 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)


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Brainstorming on the UNESCO AI Ethics Recommendation 20/04/2022 13:00 – 20/04/2022 16:00, Paris

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