EU, UNESCO To Help Developing Countries Shape AI Rules

(AFP) – The European Union will help fund a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) scheme supporting developing countries as they create laws regulating artificial intelligence, the UN cultural body said Tuesday.

Four million euros ($4.4 million) from Brussels will go towards organising events and advising governments.

“In the face of the pressing challenges posed by AI, we need to move faster by providing more support to the low-income countries,” UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.

UNESCO’s work will be rooted in its 2021 Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which is based on “the promotion and protection of human rights, human dignity, and environmental sustainability”, the organisation said.

Some 30 countries are already working on laws based on the document, it added.

While the EU lacks powerful AI companies, the bloc has stepped up the pace towards regulating the technology as rapid advances unveiled over the past year have caught much of the EU’s media and many policymakers by surprise.

European Parliament lawmakers last week backed a key text that could form the foundation of AI rules beginning in 2026, but foreign and domestic AI developers have labelled it too harsh.