Current developments in artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to transform our societies. The UN Security Council has held a high-level meeting to examine the potential implications of AI for international peace and security. In its statement, Switzerland encourages the safe and responsible use of these new technologies.
The UN Security Council must take account of the impact of new technologies in today's world. For Switzerland, AI can be used, for example, to improve the analysis of conflict situations, aid early warning mechanisms and conflict prevention, and support mediation and peace-building activities. If abused, it could however create additional risks in terms of peace and security. "While it can represent a challenge because of its speed and apparent omniscience, artificial intelligence can and must serve peace," said Pascale Baeriswyl, Switzerland's ambassador to the UN in New York.
In view of the technological progress, Switzerland reiterated that existing international law applies to AI and must be respected. In addition, Switzerland proposed three avenues to minimise the risk of abuse of these new technologies. It began by referring to the need for a common framework shared by all stakeholders in the development and application of this technology. Secondly, any AI must be human-centred and guarantee transparency in terms of how it works and the data used. Finally, Switzerland called on developers and users, both governmental and non-governmental, to assume their responsibilities in ensuring that AI promotes equality and inclusion and combats all forms of discrimination.
Cutting-edge research can help pave the way for the use of artificial intelligence for peace, as illustrated by a prototype of an AI-assisted analysis tool developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Switzerland is also committed to finding solutions, in particular through the Swiss Call for Trust & Transparency, an initiative in which the private sector, academia and diplomacy are working together to seek timely and practical solutions to the risks associated with AI.