The United Nations Security Council convened for its historic first meeting on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) on Tuesday. During the meeting, various member countries expressed their views and concerns about the impact of AI on global security and peace.
China emphasized the importance of preventing AI from becoming a “runaway horse” and stressed the need for responsible regulation and governance of the technology. The United States raised concerns about the potential misuse of AI for censorship and repression, urging countries to work together to address human rights risks associated with AI.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, who chaired the meeting, acknowledged the transformative nature of AI, stating that it will fundamentally alter all aspects of human life. He highlighted the urgency of shaping global governance for AI as the technology knows no borders and can have both positive and negative consequences.
The meeting featured briefings from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Jack Clark, co-founder of Anthropic (an AI startup), and Professor Zeng Yi, co-director of the China-UK Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance. Guterres called for the establishment of a new U.N. body similar to other specialized agencies, dedicated to governing AI and ensuring its responsible use.
China’s U.N. Ambassador, Zhang Jun, referred to AI as a “double-edged sword” and emphasized the importance of regulating its development to prevent potential negative outcomes. He advocated for the U.N. to play a central coordinating role in setting guiding principles for AI.
The U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., Jeffrey DeLaurentis, stressed the need for international collaboration on AI and emerging technologies to address human rights risks and maintain global peace and security. He cautioned against the use of AI for censoring or disempowering people.
Russia questioned the Security Council’s role in discussing AI, suggesting that a more specialized and scientific approach would be suitable for such discussions.
Overall, the meeting highlighted the growing recognition of AI’s potential impact on global affairs and the need for international cooperation in setting standards and regulations to harness its benefits while mitigating risks. As AI continues to advance, addressing its implications for peace, security, and human rights will remain a critical challenge for the international community.