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Big Tech profits from AI with disregard for rights - UN head

Big Tech profits from AI with disregard for rights - UN head

Guterres calls for global strategy and risk management framework

ROME, 18 January 2024, 12:16

ANSA Editorial




Powerful tech companies are already pursuing profits from artificial intelligence (AI) with a reckless disregard for human rights, personal privacy, and social impact, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.
    In his speech to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Guterres drew a parallel between the "existential threats" posed by climate change and AI development "without guardrails", highlighting the lack of "an effective global strategy to address both".
    AI has "enormous potential for sustainable development, but the International Monetary Fund has just warned that it is very likely to worsen inequality", explained Guterres, referring to the report published by the international financial organization ahead of the Davos meeting.
    According to the IMF, AI will impact 60% of jobs in advanced economies, compared to 40% in emerging markets and 26% in low-income countries.
    The risk, the report points out, is that the development of the new technology will increase the gap between rich and poor countries and amplify wage inequalities, with large increases in income for only some categories of workers who already earn high wages.
    Consequently, Guterres' appealed to governments to work "urgently" with tech companies on "risk management frameworks for current AI development; and on monitoring and mitigating future harms".
    The UN Secretary General also stressed the need for "a systematic effort to increase access to AI so that developing economies can benefit from its enormous potential".
    "We need to bridge the digital divide instead of deepening it," said Guterres.


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