The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday called on the countries of the world to implement its 2021 recommendation to regulate artificial intelligence, after Elon Musk (head of Twitter and founder of SpaceX and Tesla) and hundreds of experts called for a stop to the development of these programs for 6 months, warning of great risks to humanity.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement: "The world needs stronger ethical codes for AI, and this is the challenge we face today. The UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence has developed the appropriate technical framework."

Roadmap for countries

In November 193, UNESCO's 2021 Member States unanimously endorsed the First Global Standard Framework for the Ethical Use of AI, a "road map for countries describing how to maximize the benefits of AI while minimizing the risks posed by AI".

Issued after 3 years of efforts, the text details the actions to be undertaken, in particular the creation of a legislative tool to regulate and monitor AI, "ensure the complete security of personal and sensitive data" or even educate the public on its subject.

"It is time to implement strategies and regulations at the national level, and we must turn words into deeds," Azoulay said, adding that "it is clear that the self-regulation of the sector is not enough to avoid these ethical ills."

More than 40 countries from all regions of the world are working with UNESCO to develop AI controls and balances at the national level, based on the recommendation.

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

UNESCO has called on all countries to join the movement it is leading to develop "ethic-based" AI, noting that a progress report will be presented at the FAO AI Ethics Forum in Slovenia in December 2023.

Hundreds of global experts, including Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, signed on Wednesday a call to stop developing artificial intelligence research for 6 months.

In the petition published on the Future of Life website (, the experts called for a temporary halt to the development of artificial intelligence programs until protection systems are adopted, such as the creation of new regulatory bodies for this field, monitoring of artificial intelligence systems, technologies that help distinguish actual works from innovative AI programs, and the creation of institutions capable of dealing with "the economic and political problems caused by these programs."

"Should we allow machines to flood our media channels with propaganda and lies?" they asked. Should we risk losing control of our civilization? These decisions should not be delegated to unelected technological leaders."

Warnings and dangers

A previous report by Al Jazeera Net asked many ethical questions in this regard, such as: Do we allow, for example, technology companies to collect and analyze the DNA of individuals, and sell this data to drug manufacturers in order to save lives? Is it possible to develop software that makes decisions on life insurance contracts and approves loans? Should governments ban robots that provide human sexual services in a way that simulates reality? How much should we invest in this technology, which has caused millions of people to lose their jobs?

In their joint article in the Washington Post, authors Darren Walker (president of the Ford Foundation) and Humant Taniga (president of General Catalyst) point out that artificial intelligence has the potential to scale and spread all human failures, from ignoring civil liberties to perpetuating racism, sectarianism, and inequality, all of which are endemic to American society.

Machine learning algorithms, which mimic human learning, will replicate human error and bias in often indiscriminate ways, until we encounter the consequences of brutal cruelty, unjust arrests, and loss of critical care for millions of black people, to name a few.

Companies researching and developing AI are sharing a powerful tool with an audience that may not be willing to absorb it or use it responsibly. Governments are also not sufficiently prepared to regulate the technology in a way that protects its users, or those who may be affected by it.

The article concluded by emphasizing that artificial intelligence is not just a technical breakthrough, and that if we want to protect ourselves, we must take the initiative to confront it and surround ourselves with barriers that provide that protection, and this must be as soon as possible.

Media & Journalism

Within the talk about the ethics of artificial intelligence, several questions arise about its role in the fields of journalism and media, and recently director Jana Al-Muslimani - through the documentary film "Rethinking Journalism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" - shed light on the ethics of the machine, calling for awareness of the need to determine the ethical compass of artificial intelligence technology and find ethical standards that regulate its use in the field of media.

"It is important to be aware of the impact of artificial intelligence on the media and society, but it is more important to address the ethical aspect of the use of this technology," she told Al Jazeera Net, adding, "We want to highlight the need to develop ethical standards governing the application of artificial intelligence in journalism to maintain the integrity of the profession and ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of individuals."

The director adds that the film aims to open a constructive discussion on how to use AI technology responsibly and sustainably in the field of media.

The film encourages decision-makers and those interested in this field to participate in finding common solutions, and to establish appropriate standards that protect the public and journalists alike from any unethical use of technology.

By addressing these ethical issues, Al Maslamani seeks to make the film a platform for discussion and reflection on the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of journalism, and to direct intellectual and practical efforts towards responsible and ethical use of this technology.