UNESCO promotes reflection on a “humanistic approach” to artificial intelligence

Publié le 18 Mar, 2019

Last Monday, UNESCO’s director-general Audrey Azoulay opened the first world conference to promote a “humanistic approach” to artificial intelligence (AI).


OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria stressed that all stakeholders, whether “academic, state or economic, are calling for general principles to guide artificial intelligence. He then stressed UNESCO’s essential role in coordinating the discussions. In April, UNESCO is due to examine the conclusions of the COMEST report on robotics ethics[1]. Ultimately, the goal is to draw up common global standards on AI ethics and implement “responsible” AI tools. 


Two years ago, major AI companies, including IBM, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, launched a similar initiative called the Partnership on AI to “introduce ethical reflection on the use of algorithms“. The Council of Europe, the European Commission, and many states, including France, have also set up this type of reflection. Writing about this subject, Cedric Villani, an LREM French MP and author of a report on artificial intelligence published a year ago, has stated that “the goal should not be to hastily establish standards but rather to open up the debate, compare points of view and find a basis for common values“.


[1] UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology.

Le Figaro, Enguérand Renault  (5/03/18) – L’Unesco veut définir une éthique de l’intelligence artificielle


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