IGF 2020 OF #21 Strengthening Implementation Capacities for AI Ethics

Thursday, 5th November, 2020 (08:40 UTC) - Thursday, 5th November, 2020 (09:40 UTC)
Room 2
About this Session
How can ethical principles for AI be implemented? How do we translate high-level principles into policies? What kind of human and institutional capacities are needed to govern AI?

These are some of the questions that experts from national, regional and international organizations working on the governance of AI would be focusing on during the session.

Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min


In November 2019, the General Conference of UNESCO, mandated the organisation “to prepare an international standard-setting instrument on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a recommendation”, which will be submitted to the General Conference in 2021. This request from UNESCO Member States is a continuation of the mandate given to UNESCO by the international community, at the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005, confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, to lead and facilitate international work on the “ethical dimensions of the information society”. As UNESCO embarks on this mission, it is working with a multi-stakeholder group of experts drawn from different parts of the world and representing a diverse range of stakeholders to not only identify principles for the development and deployment of an ethical AI but also to clarify what this means practically in terms of implementation of policies and programmes. The first draft of the recommendation submitted to Member States proposes options for action to Member States and other stakeholders and is accompanied by concrete implementation guidelines. The first draft of the AI Ethics Recommendation is available at https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000373434

In this regard, UNESCO has initiated the development of an AI Decision Maker’s Essential Toolkit that would support human and institutional capacities across stakeholder groups to address the challenges and opportunities of AI for achieving sustainable development goals and to strengthen capacities to implement AI Ethics recommendations. The Open Forum at the Internet Governance Forum will be an opportunity to discuss the work of the Ad-hoc Expert Group on the Ethics of AI, highlight the multi-stakeholder consultation process held online to solicit input from stakeholders around the world, and the different workstreams under the AI Decision Maker’s Essential Toolkit. The Open Forum will facilitate feedback on the standard setting and capacity development process from a wide range of stakeholders engaged in AI governance, with focus on data governance and inclusion. UNESCO’s work on AI is anchored within the “UN system-wide strategic approach and roadmap for supporting capacity development on artificial intelligence” and the Recommendation 3C of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. The standard setting and capacity development work with respect to Ethics of AI builds on UNESCO’s commitment to a human-centred approach to digital technologies reflected in the ‘Internet Universality’ framework and the associated ‘R.O.A.M. principles’ (Human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation), which were endorsed by the Organization’s Member States in 2015. The value of using the R.O.A.M. frame for assessing AI in particular is also reflected in the publication entitled “Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies: a ROAM perspective”, which was launched at the Internet Governance Forum in 2019.



Sasha Rubel and Ang Tee-Wee


Moderator:  Sasha Rubel, UNESCO


  • Dafna Feinholz, UNESCO
  • Léonard Bouchet, European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
  • Jed Horner, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • Jan Kleijssen, Council of Europe 
  • Nicolas Miailhe, The Future Society
  • Clara Neppel, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Sophie Peresson, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 
  • Karine Perset, OECD
  • Benjamin Prud’homme, Quebec Institute for Artificial Intelligence (MILA) 
  • Sally Radwan, Arab League Working Group on AI (Egypt)
Onsite Moderator

Sasha Rubel

Online Moderator

Prateek Sibal


Ang Tee-Wee


GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals