The Hague, 7 September 2017. On Thursday 7 September, the Director of UNICRI, Cindy Smith, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the International Organizations, Johan van der Werff, signed the Host Country Agreement for the establishment of the first United Nations Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The benefits of AI and robotics will be of paramount importance for society in the years to come. Critical areas such as health, education, energy, economic inclusion, social welfare, the environment, as well as crime prevention, security, stability and justice, will benefit from the progress being made. However, this growth will not be costless if societies will not be prepared to take up the gauntlet to address relevant challenges, for the greater good.
Many of these challenges also present opportunities that can be developed if the implications involved by this technological revolution are addressed from the very beginning. The Centre in The Hague is a crucial achievement of the programme on Robotics and AI that UNICRI launched in 2014 with the aim of progressing discussion on robotics and artificial intelligence governance.
The Centre will contribute to enhance understanding of the risk-benefit duality of AI and Robotics through improved coordination, knowledge collection and dissemination, training, awareness-raising and outreach activities. The Centre will monitor global developments, promote the establishment of an international network in this area and contribute to policy making. Building consensus amongst concerned communities (national, regional, international, public and private) from theoretical and practical perspectives in a balanced and comprehensive manner is integral to the Centre’s approach.
UNICRI is profoundly grateful to the Government of the Netherlands and the City of The Hague for making this historic initiative a reality and enabling the creation of a global Centre to discuss advances in this cutting-edge field.