Summary + Analysis of the UN AI Advisory Body Interim Report


The Interim Report released by the UN’s AI Advisory Body marks a crucial milestone in the ongoing discourse surrounding the governance of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Some key points about the report are:

  • The Interim Report, titled “Governing AI for Humanity,” was released by the AI Advisory Body in December 2023.
  • It highlights the global governance deficit in respect of AI and emphasizes the role of the UN in the governance of AI.
  • The report identifies opportunities and enablers that can help harness the potential benefits of AI for humanity.
  • It also highlights the risks and challenges associated with AI, both in the present and foreseeable future.
  • The report argues that addressing the global governance deficit requires clear principles, as well as novel functions and institutional arrangements.
  • The report proposes five guiding principles for AI governance,
    i) AI should be governed inclusively by and for the benefit of all citizens.
    ii) AI must be governed in the public interest.
    iii) AI governance should be built in step with data governance and the promotion of data comicommons.
    iv) AI governance must be universal, networked and rooted in adaptive multi stakeholder collaboration.
    v) AI governance should be anchored in the UN Charter, International Human Rights Law, and other agreed international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It   also   proposes   two   institutional   functions:   regularly   assessing   the   future   directions   and implications of AI and reinforcing the interoperability of governance efforts.
  • The report emphasizes the need for a cohesive, inclusive, participatory, and coordinated approach involving diverse communities worldwide, especially those from the Global South or Global Majority.
  • While the UN does not hold a panacea for the governance of AI, its unique legitimacy as a body with universal membership offers a pivotal node for sharing knowledge, agreeing on norms and principles, and ensuring good governance and accountability.
  • The report concludes with preliminary recommendations and next steps for tackling the global governance deficit with AI.The formation of the UN’s AI Advisory Body represents a pivotal step in addressing the complexities of AI governance on a global scale.  With a focus on inclusivity, accountability, and the promotion of international norms, the Advisory Body’s efforts hold the potential to shape the future trajectory of AI development and deployment, ensuring equitable access to benefits while mitigating potential harms across diverse communities worldwide


    The Interim Report from the UN’s AI Advisory Body, “Governing AI for Humanity,” released in December 2023,  underscores  the  urgent  need  for  global  governance  of  artificial  intelligence.  It identifies key opportunities and risks associated with AI technologies while proposing guiding principles and institutional functions to address governance challenges.


    Inclusivity:  The  report  emphasizes  inclusive  governance  by  and  for  all  citizens,  ensuring  diverse perspectives are considered.

    Public  Interest:  It  prioritizes  AI  governance  in  the  public  interest,  aligning  with  societal  needs  and values.

    Framework Alignment: Proposes aligning AI governance with existing frameworks like the UN Charter and International Human Rights Law, promoting coherence and legitimacy.

    Institutional   Functions:   Recommends   regular   assessment   of   AI’s   implications   and   reinforcing governance interoperability, providing actionable steps for effective governance.


    Implementation Challenges: While the report outlines principles and functions, practical implementation strategies are not extensively discussed.

    Specificity: Some recommendations lack specificity, making it challenging for stakeholders to translate them into actionable policies.

    Global South Representation: Although it highlights the importance of inclusivity, the report could provide more concrete strategies for engaging stakeholders from the Global South.

    Enforcement Mechanisms: It lacks detailed proposals for enforcement mechanisms to ensure adherence to governance principles and functions

    Expectations for the Second Report

    As the AI Advisory Body prepares its second report expected in 2024, there is anticipation that it will address   the   gaps   identified   in   the   interim   report.   This   includes   providing   more   concrete implementation strategies, enhancing representation from diverse global stakeholders, and proposing effective enforcement mechanisms. With these improvements, the second report is poised to further strengthen international efforts towards responsible AI governance.

Leave a comment