Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies: A ROAM Perspective launched in Russian and Chinese

Following the launch of the publication Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies in English at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum and its appeal to worldwide stakeholders, UNESCO publishes online the Russian and Chinese versions, to be followed by other languages shortly.

This study frames its assessment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM framework agreed by UNESCO Member States in 2015. It covers how AI and advanced ICTs will impact Human Rights, Openness and Access, and how a Multi-stakeholder approach underpins work to address both the challenges and opportunities. Also, how it can steer the development and usage of AI in ways that mitigate risks and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

As AI and other new technologies have been evolving within the ecosystem of the Internet, UNESCO believes that Internet Universality ROAM principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation can serve as a well-grounded and holistic framework for UNESCO and stakeholders to help shape the design, application and governance of AI. UNESCO thus recommended that States implement Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators to measure human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation and to thereby map and improve the ecosystem in which AI is developed, applied and governed.

Moreover, this research report is a contribution to the wider debate about the ethics and governance of AI. It is an attempt to ‘steer’ clear of both technological utopianism, and dystopian thinking. UNESCO gives attention to the role of human agency and human-centred values in the development of AI and other advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs).

To steer AI accordingly, the report recognizes the uneven but dynamic distribution of AI power across multiple and dispersed centres within governments, the private sector, the technical community, civil society and other stakeholders worldwide. Therefore, the publication offers a set of recommendations for action that can serve as inspiration for the development of new and ethical policy frameworks, whether by States in their different fields of work, diverse actors in the private sector, members of academia and the technical community, and civil society.

UNESCO is thankful to Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) for translating the report into Chinese. In September 2020, UNESCO signed a cooperation letter with Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) and its School of Journalism and Communication to foster global journalism and communication education, linguistic diversity and multilingualism and promote UNESCO’s Internet related work. UNESCO also thanks its Almaty team that provided the Russian translation for the Russian speaking independent states.

UNESCO is working with regional and national stakeholders and partners to organize launching events in order to carry forward the discussion on the issues raised by this Steering AI and Advanced Knowledge Society publication, highlight the importance of a strong ROAM framework for the development of AI and trigger fruitful policy debate on possible actions to be implemented at national level.