Throughout 2018, UNESCO has contributed to the deliberations around the challenges at the intersection artificial intelligence and human rights, openness, access and information ethics. A series of workshops at UNESCO’s Partners Forum, the Internet Governance Forum and a high level event at Mozilla Foundation brought together various actors from the world of academia, civil society and governmental bodies, such as the Government of Mexico and the Council of Europe, who discussed why a multi-stakeholder, inclusive and open mechanism would be needed to address a number of key issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence.

UNESCO is presenting a primer analysing the changes that advanced ICTs are bringing to society, under the prism of the ROAM framework and the normative principles that anchor inclusive knowledge societies and sustainable development. The publication will provide conceptual tools to understand governance of and the artificial intelligence and reflect the multiple implications and risks in the areas of Rights, Openness, Access and Multi-stakeholder as well as crosscutting issues as advocated by Internet Universality ROAM framework.

The report examines the emergence of new technology driven 'discrepancies' between countries that have access to and know-how about advanced ICTs and others that have limited access to these technologies. The publication will provide Member States, private sector, technical community, policymakers and civil society a critical reflection on the development and use of advanced ICTs in the context of knowledge societies and sustainable development, as well as a series of recommendations on what UNESCO and other stakeholders’ future actions will be in harnessing the AI development for Internet Universality and knowledge society.

The session would start by presenting the main findings of the report and engage with the participants on key questions that require further consultation and interdisciplinary reflection. An analysis of artificial intelligence ecosystem based a 3C framework of Commitment, Capacity and Creation that has been developed in a joint project with students at Sciences Po, Paris will be presented. The framework has been used to understand the AI related developments in Africa, in keeping with UNESCO’s Global priority Africa.


The panel discussion is to reflect deeply on issues concerning Rights, Access and Multi-stakeholder Governance of Artificial Intelligence. The “Openness” dimension will be further explored by a following session focused on Open Data and AI. The session will:

  1. Present common findings of the UNESCO Report on AI for Internet Universality and Knowledge Societies
  2. AI and human rights: how AI impacts freedom of expression, privacy, journalism and media, discriminations, etc.
  3. AI and Access to Information: How to strengthen awareness and knowledge about AI among policymakers, citizens and journalists? How is the AI Ecosystem in Africa based on 3C’s of Commitment, Capacity and Creation?
  4. Multi-stakeholder AI Governance: Exploring frameworks for multi-stakeholder governance of AI


The session will present UNESCO’s findings on AI and encourage further debate on Rights, Access and Governance of AI. It will bring attention to AI development in Africa through an extensive data collection exercise conducted as a joint project between UNESCO/CI and Sciences Po, Paris. These will feed into UNESCO’s efforts in creating consensus around artificial intelligence and its emerging challenges and opportunities based on the R.O.A.M principles.
The feedback from the participants will inform UNESCO strategy on AI and identify questions for further engagement.

Welcome remarks:

  • Mr. Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, UNESCO


  • Mr. Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO


  • Mr. Alexandre Barbosa,
  • Mr. Shipeng Li, Vice President of iFLYTEK and Joint president of the Institute of iFLYTEK
  • Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communications
  • Mr. Nigel Hickson, ICANN
  • Mr. John-Shawe Taylor, UNESCO Chair in AI at University College London
  • Ms. Elodie Vialle, Rapporteurs Sans Frontiers