Home Bots in Society UN’s First AI Resolution: Experts Warn That Recommendations Alone Won’t Safeguard Democracy

UN’s First AI Resolution: Experts Warn That Recommendations Alone Won’t Safeguard Democracy

More robust measures are required, especially in light of the EU AI Act

by Pieter Werner

The United Nations voted on its inaugural resolution to safeguard the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide. However, recommendations and calls are quite late, as the EU has already passed its first regulatory EU AI Act, which is far more specific and mandatory.

While the UN draft resolution is appreciated, including the fact that all countries voted in favor of it, objective measures to regulate AI’s development and utilization are urgent, especially in the upcoming global elections this year.

“AI offers immense potential, enabling us to work more efficiently and with greater accuracy. It has significantly enhanced productivity for both businesses and individuals across various domains. However, this technology also presents opportunities for misuse by malicious actors. As AI developers, we keep advancing continuously, but we need real actions, and regulations must catch up with the technology. We are stuck at the stage where we know that regulations have to come, but we still have no idea which direction they will take worldwide.” said Simona Vasytė, CEO of Perfection42.

Amidst rising concerns over AI misuse, particularly the spread of deepfakes and misinformation, the UN resolution was anticipated as a significant development. However, experts emphasize that to effectively address these challenges, concrete and tangible actions are necessary, going beyond mere recommendations.

“While concerns about potential limitations on freedom persist, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of legislative initiatives in safeguarding the integrity of elections worldwide. AI representatives overwhelmingly support measures that aim to ensure fairness and prevent malicious interference driven by AI programs. However, the advising character that these resolutions carry, especially given the impending elections, will probably have a disappointing outcome. In an era where the looming threat of deepfakes poses significant challenges to democracy, this resolution falls short of addressing the urgent need for action,” expressed Simona Vasytė, CEO of Perfection42.

The challenge lies in ensuring that regulatory frameworks keep pace with these technological developments, providing clear guidance on how to address emerging threats.

“AI tools could already be used to fight malicious use cases of technology. For example, it could be used to recognize deepfakes. However, we need to be sure that governments will employ such uses of AI and not just hand out recommendations that might not be followed elsewhere,” continued Vasytė.

As concerns mount over AI’s potential impact on democratic processes, the call for proactive advocacy and regulation becomes increasingly urgent.

“AI regulation is our democratic safeguard in the digital age; it ensures that the power of technology strengthens, rather than erodes, the foundations of our democracy,” asserted Vaisytė. “By setting boundaries and standards for AI, we’re upholding the principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability that are essential to democratic governance. This is our stand to ensure that the voices of all citizens are heard and respected, not drowned out or manipulated by unchecked technological advances. It’s about preserving the very essence of democracy—ensuring that as we navigate this new frontier, we do so with the compass of our democratic values guiding us forward,” concluded Vaisytė.

Photo: Simona Vasytė and Kęstutis Taučkėla

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