UN adopts Chinese resolution with US support on closing the gap in access to artificial intelligence

Article by Edith Lederer: “The U.N. General Assembly adopted a Chinese-sponsored resolution with U.S. support urging wealthy developed nations to close the widening gap with poorer developing countries and ensure that they have equal opportunities to use and benefit from artificial intelligence.

The resolution approved Monday follows the March 21 adoption of the first U.N. resolution on artificial intelligence spearheaded by the United States and co-sponsored by 123 countries including China. It gave global support to the international effort to ensure that AI is “safe, secure and trustworthy” and that all nations can take advantage of it.

Adoption of the two nonbinding resolutions shows that the United States and China, rivals in many areas, are both determined to be key players in shaping the future of the powerful new technology — and have been cooperating on the first important international steps.

The adoption of both resolutions by consensus by the 193-member General Assembly shows widespread global support for their leadership on the issue.

Fu Cong, China’s U.N. ambassador, told reporters Monday that the two resolutions are complementary, with the U.S. measure being “more general” and the just-adopted one focusing on “capacity building.”

He called the Chinese resolution, which had more than 140 sponsors, “great and far-reaching,” and said, “We’re very appreciative of the positive role that the U.S. has played in this whole process.”

Nate Evans, spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said Tuesday that the Chinese-sponsored resolution “was negotiated so it would further the vision and approach the U.S. set out in March.”

“We worked diligently and in good faith with developing and developed countries to strengthen the text, ensuring it reaffirms safe, secure, and trustworthy AI that respects human rights, commits to digital inclusion, and advances sustainable development,” Evans said.

Fu said that AI technology is advancing extremely fast and the issue has been discussed at very senior levels, including by the U.S. and Chinese leaders.

“We do look forward to intensifying our cooperation with the United States and for that matter with all countries in the world on this issue, which … will have far-reaching implications in all dimensions,” he said…(More)”.