ITU’s AI for Good Global Summit hosts talks on AI governance

UN meeting focuses on moving from principles of artificial intelligence guidelines to implementation for safe, sustainable use

Geneva, 16 May 2024

​​​The AI for Good Global Summit 2024 will open in Geneva, Switzerland on 29 May with the UN’s first AI Governance Day to discuss how best to implement principled AI frameworks while ensuring that no country is left behind.

AI Governance Day will welcome ministers and regulatory authorities from over 70 governments—nearly half representing developing countries—as well as representatives of industry, academia, civil society and United Nations agencies.

The day is organized and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Agency for Digital Technologies, ahead of two days dedicated to exploring how new technology can support sustainable development.

“The world needs AI technologies that are safe, secure and that go beyond bias to benefit everybody,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “AI Governance Day will reinforce important international principles as AI advances, while also ensuring that all countries are represented so that we can move forward together.”

​Moving from process to progress
National and regional initiatives on AI regulatory frameworks have clarified essential principles of equitability, inclusivity, safety and security to ensure that the rapidly evolving technologies benefit all of humanity.

AI Governance Day will focus on globally inclusive implementation of frameworks based on these principles.

The discussions will also explore the role of international technical standards and capacity development to provide effective, consistent AI governance worldwide within an environment of inclusion and trust.

“The objectives of AI Governance Day align with those of the recent resolution on AI adopted by the UN General Assembly,” said Bogdan-Martin. “The historic General Assembly resolution gives greater strength and impetus to the AI for Good initiative by promoting responsible AI that leads to a better life for all—the very essence of ITU’s work on artificial intelligence.”

What’s on the agenda

The first half of AI Governance Day​​ will feature high-level discussions on implementing AI regulatory frameworks, with participants sharing case studies and best practices from around the world. This will be followed by an afternoon open session.​

An important principle of the ITU-hosted talks is the active participation of representatives of developing countries to ensure the widest level of representation about technologies that have global implications.

The public afternoon sessions will feature presentations by representatives of government, industry, standards bodies and UN agencies on key tenets of AI governance and the progress of initiatives underway around the world.

Discussions will then address topics such as:

  • Governments’ AI dilemma: How to maximize rewards while minimizing risks?
  • Leveraging the UN system to advance global AI governance efforts.
  • The critical conversation on AI safety and risk.
  • To share or not to share? Open-source versus proprietary large language models.
  • Harmonizing high tech: The role of AI standards as an implementation tool.

Tackling risks and challenges

Following AI Governance Day will be ITU‘s annual AI for Good Global Summit 2024, taking place 30-31 May, co-convened by the Government of Switzerland and organized with 40 partner UN agencies.

AI for Good identifies practical applications of AI to accelerate progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals and connects AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers to help scale up AI solutions globally.

With the rise of generative AI models prompting fears about the downsides of AI as well as excitement about the benefits of the technologies, the summit will host expert-oriented machine learning workshops and demos of cutting-edge AI solutions.

“Common to all AI governance initiatives is the urgent need to address misinformation and deception techniques such as deepfakes,” said Seizo Onoe, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “The AI for Good Global Summit will bring together the world’s leading experts on verifying multimedia authenticity and provenance to advance technical standards for a robust international response to this growing threat to information integrity and public discourse.”

The UN platform for AI solutions
The AI for Good Global Summit will showcase innovations in generative AI, robotics, and brain-machine interfaces that can accelerate progress in areas such as climate action, accessibility, health, and disaster response.

Summit speakers, including some of the world’s most recognized voices on AI, will explore the latest breakthroughs in AI and examine actions to ensure that AI works to humanity’s benefit.

Registration for media accreditation for reporters wishing to cover the AI for Good Global Summit is open. Registration for the public​ is also open and free of charge.

Registrants can attend either in person or online to connect with an expected 2,500 participants in Geneva and over 27,000 professionals worldwide who are part of the AI for Good Neural Network


Editor’s notes: 

  • Media wishing to cover the AI Governance Day and AI for Good 2024 register here.
  • AI Governance Day and AI for Good 2024 media accreditation is also accepted for the WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event. A single media badge will be issued for all events.
  • Discover the AI Governance Day and AI for Good 2024 agenda here.
  • The list of speakers can be found here.
  • For registration questions, please contact [email protected].​

Resources: ​​​

About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 1,000 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. Established in 1865, it is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. Learn more:

Source : ITU