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Rights Champion Nighat Dad Joins UN Chief’s AI Advisory Board for Global Governance

In this post:

  • Renowned rights activist from Pakistan appointed to tackle global AI governance challenges.
  • Board emphasizes international AI governance; Nighat Dad, also Digital Rights Foundation director, adds expertise for human and digital rights.
  • Her role ensures a nuanced approach to human rights, especially for marginalized communities, marking a step toward ethical AI governance.

In a pioneering step for the field of artificial intelligence, renowned rights activist Nighat Dad, hailing from Pakistan, has been appointed to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on AI. This significant development aims to tackle the crucial issue of global AI governance, aligning with the UN’s mission to address the challenges and opportunities presented by this rapidly advancing technology.

The board’s mandate and initial focus

In response to the growing influence of AI and its implications on a global scale, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the formation of a 39-member advisory body dedicated to the governance of artificial intelligence. Mr. Guterres highlighted the potential for AI to empower developing economies by leapfrogging outdated technologies and delivering essential services directly to those in need. The board’s immediate priorities include crafting interim recommendations by the year’s end, with a focus on three key areas: international governance of AI, generative AI, and a shared understanding of the risks and challenges associated with deploying these technologies.

The board’s pressing tasks involve establishing a global scientific consensus on the risks and challenges of AI, leveraging AI to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, and enhancing international cooperation on AI governance. The emphasis is on urging UN member states to act deliberately and swiftly in adopting governance structures linked with AI. Over the coming years, the board will play a pivotal role in developing and implementing AI governance mechanisms, ensuring a human and digital rights perspective is central to these frameworks.

According to the UN statement, the board’s focus extends beyond governance, actively addressing potential human rights issues that may arise, particularly affecting marginalized communities globally. Nighat Dad, in her statement, underscored the necessity of recognizing and mitigating the impact of new technologies on human rights, particularly within vulnerable populations.

Nighat Dad’s role and digital rights advocacy

In her dual capacity as a prominent rights activist and the executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the UN AI advisory board. Her commitment to leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the promotion of human rights, inclusivity, and digital governance aligns seamlessly with the board’s overarching goals. As a member, she is poised to contribute significantly to the formulation of policies and mechanisms that safeguard human and digital rights in the age of AI.

While the board addresses the macro-level concerns of global AI governance, Nighat Dad’s involvement ensures a nuanced consideration of potential human rights implications, particularly for marginalized communities worldwide. This dual perspective is crucial in shaping AI governance mechanisms that are not only effective on a global scale but also sensitive to the diverse needs and challenges faced by different communities.

Nighat Dad’s role on the UN AI advisory board in shaping ethical AI governance

As Nighat Dad assumes her role on the UN AI advisory board, the world anticipates the positive impact her insights and advocacy will have on shaping the global governance of artificial intelligence. How can the international community ensure that the development and deployment of AI technologies align with the principles of human rights and inclusivity? The coming years will undoubtedly witness a dynamic interplay between technological advancement and ethical considerations, and Nighat Dad’s presence on the advisory board marks a significant step towards striking this delicate balance.

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