Celebrating the Launch of the UNICRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

The Hague, 10 July 2019. In 2017 UNICRI signed a host country agreement with the Netherlands, for the hosting of its Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics in The Hague. In doing so, UNICRI joined important international organizations such as the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Europol, and many others as a proud member of The Hague’s tradition of international peace and justice – a tradition dating back over a century.

Ambassadors from The Hague-based Embassies, representatives of international organizations and eminent partners from academia and the private sector gathered at the Peace Palace to formally launch the UNICRI Centre for AI and Robotics and discuss the work it has conducted since 2017. The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Municipality of The Hague and UNICRI.

On that occasion, Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Director of UNICRI, said that the famed City of Peace, Justice and, increasingly also Innovation is “both a logical base of operations for us and has become a welcome home to explore innovation. The challenges we face are not static; time and tide wait for no man. They continue to adapt, evolve and take on new dimensions, obliging us, in turn, to do the same to keep pace”.

Neil Sahota, IBM Master Inventor, World Wide Business Development Leader in the IBM Watson Group, and coauthor of Own the A.I. Revolution, who provided a key note address on demystifying AI, said that “AI is truly a transformative technology. It is one of the most impactful things ever created, touching everything around us. It is great to see that the UNICRI Centre is taking the initiative to look at law enforcement, the judiciary and other branches of the criminal justice system in this regard. This is a key part of the puzzle for using AI for the greater good.”

Pascalle Grotenhuis, Director of Protocol and Host Country Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, expressed appreciation and support for the launch of the Centre.

The UNICRI Centre for AI and Robotics is committed to advancing understanding of artificial intelligence and robotics from the perspective of crime, justice and security and to exploring their use for social good in a manner consistent with human rights, with the final aim of contributing to a future free of violence and crime. The Centre is generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Municipality of The Hague and its strategic partner – 1QB Information Technologies (1QBit).

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