Unesco Director General seeks global debate on AI

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Beijing, July 18 (IANS) Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay on Wednesday called for a worldwide debate on the consequences of large-scale use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Azoulay, who is on an official visit to China, said AI raises questions, as it opens up the possibilities in the areas such as military, security and individual freedoms, Efe news reported.

“We need to have a conversation on this subject, which has not happened yet”, she said. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is set to hold a conference in Paris on the topic in January 2019.

She stressed that Unesco dealt with ethics of science and had a role to play in the issue.

“We need to have a conversation about the ethics of AI, which cannot happen without China,” said Azoulay, who became the first Director-General of Unesco to meet a Chinese President after she met Xi Jinping, with whom she discussed Beijing’s cooperation with her organization.

“China is a major strategic partner for Unesco, which is committed to the organization and committed to multilateralism,” she said, praising Beijing’s contribution in areas like education, culture, protection of heritage and dissemination of new technologies.

The former French Culture Minister began a four-day official visit to China on Monday, where she met different authorities and attended a conference at the prestigious Tsinghua University, a Beijing-based institution which has played a key role in developing new technologies in the country.



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