AI Governance to Be Studied by New U.N. Panel, with Execs Joining from OpenAI, Microsoft and Sony

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a Security Council meeting on Oct. 24.

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced Thursday that the United Nations has set up a global advisory panel to discuss international governance for artificial intelligence and how to use these technologies.

The advisory panel, with a view to the using AI to combat global warming and meet sustainable development goals, plans to issue final recommendations by summer 2024.

In the U.N. Security Council’s first meeting on AI in July, many countries stressed the need for international rules for AI. A plan also has been floated to create a new international organ for AI governance.

Thirty-nine people from about 30 nations, such as AI model developers and lawyers, were appointed to the advisory panel. They include technology officers at OpenAI, the U.S. company behind ChatGPT, and U.S. tech giant Microsoft.

From Japan, two will join the advisory panel — Hiroaki Kitano, chief technology officer at Sony Group Corp., and Arisa Ema, associate professor at the University of Tokyo.

At a press conference, Guterres said, “AI could power extraordinary progress for humanity,” but also pointed out that malicious use of AI “could undermine trust in institutions, weaken social cohesion and threaten democracy itself.”

Based on this view, Guterres said that the panel will aim to maximize benefits to humanity as a whole and decrease the potential risks from AI.