29 September 2023, Geneva, Switzerland - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and IE University (IE) jointly hosted a Forum on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Madrid, Spain, on Monday 25 September and Tuesday 26 September. The Forum focused on various aspects of AI, including governance, ethics, education, and the corporate world. Entitled, ‘Three Horizons: Governance, Education and the Future of Work’, brought together around 100 participants from a variety of sectors, including government officials, academia, private sector specialists, and education and training providers, to discuss the impact of AI across various domains. UNITAR and IE jointly organized the event within the premises of the IE Tower, a fitting representation of the power of education and innovation, and the IE Paper Pavilion, with its futuristic architecture.
ETHICS AND GOVERNANCE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
One of the central themes of the Forum was the ethical implications of AI technology and its necessary governance at different levels. With AI playing an increasingly significant role in various aspects of society, the Forum delved into discussions about the governance frameworks required to ensure responsible AI development and deployment, ethical considerations, and international cooperation on AI governance to address the challenges and risks associated with AI technologies.
Mr. Rabih El-Haddad, Director of the Division for Multilateral Diplomacy of UNITAR, and IE University's Provost, Mr. Manuel Muñiz, opened the event. Later, Mr. El-Haddad had the pleasure of facilitating a cross-sectional panel of experts from government, academia, the UN and the private sector, who shared their insights on the nexus between AI, Governance, and Ethics.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN EDUCATION
With AI revolutionizing the field of education in profound ways, the second day of the Forum also delved into the future of learning through AI. Speakers from various backgrounds, including the UN, academia and the private sector, discussed the role of AI in transforming education systems, including through personalized learning and adaptive assessments, as well as AI-powered technologies and tools that enhance teaching effectiveness, student engagement and lifelong learning.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE FUTURE
The last two panels of the Forum focused on the impact of AI in the corporate world and the opportunities and challenges ahead. Panelists representing large companies such as Microsoft, Google, Johnson and Johnson, and others, as well as smaller companies in the private sector, and the UN discussed emerging trends in AI adoption across corporations, AI’s economic impact, and its potential to drive sustainable development.
With AI rapidly becoming a transformative force across various industries, reshaping society, the economy, and everyday life, the Forum aimed at continuing the necessary discussions around responsible development, ethical considerations, and international governance.