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Monday, December 4, 2023

World Summit on Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development

On July 6 and 7, the World Summit on Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development will be held in Geneva. Jointly organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the Swiss government and 40 partner UN agencies, the event will bring together leaders in humanitarian action and innovators in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

The Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social Good, first held in 2017, returns to Geneva for the first time since 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had taken the form of an online mobilization platform, accessible throughout the year, and bringing together participants from a wide range of backgrounds from 183 countries. The 2023 edition is expected to bring together over 2,500 participants expected in Geneva, and online, over 15,000 members of the Neural Network on AI for Social Good, ITU's AI-based community platform.

Connecting the world

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN's specialized agency for information and communication technologies, is the oldest intergovernmental technical coordination organization, having been founded as the International Telegraph Union in 1865. Its membership comprises 193 Member States and, unique in the United Nations system, over 900 companies, universities and international and regional organizations from all over the world.

At the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2022, Member States adopted a Resolution to harness the benefits of AI for sustainable development. The Summit will be an opportunity to demonstrate how new technologies can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in areas such as tackling the climate crisis and strengthening humanitarian response.

Numerous robots

Generative AI and human-machine collaboration will be the main topics of discussion, given the recent surge in public interest in artificial intelligence following the release of major language models such as ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. The Summit will bring together, for the first time in one place, eight humanoid social robots and over 20 specialized robots. They will be demonstrating the full range of their capabilities, from fighting fires to delivering humanitarian aid, providing healthcare and supporting sustainable agriculture. Two high-level round tables will explore the policies, regulations and standards needed to ensure that AI contributes to sustainable development.

ITU Secretary General, the American Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the first woman elected to lead the agency, has declared that it is "in our collective interest to shape AI faster than it shapes us".