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Addressing the Risks and Benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Message from the Director of UNICRI: Antonia Marie De Meo.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is fundamentally changing how we live, how we work, how we communicate, and how we move around. It is transforming our world socially, economically and politically.  The potential is boundless, but the risks are also growing.

UNICRI is a United Nations research and training institute for criminal justice and crime prevention.  Through the UNICRI Centre for AI and Robotics in The Hague, we analyze how AI can contribute to crime prevention, for instance, to combat corruption and money laundering, human trafficking, child sexual abuse materials, and misuse of social media by terrorists.  Working together with INTERPOL, we have already shown that AI makes law enforcement more effective and helps governments better serve their people.

But as we explore the use of AI, we also know that we must never lose sight of the principles of human rights, rule of law, and equality, upon which the United Nations was founded.  When we take a principled approach to use of these emerging technologies, our communities will be safer and more secure.

The interest in AI from the public and private sectors is “overwhelmingly high”.  UNICRI stands ready to apply its specialized expertise to support all Member States to leverage the potential of AI in a responsible manner so that AI can meaningfully contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres: “Together, let us make sure we use artificial intelligence to enhance human dignity and serve the global good.”