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AI is 'changing our world and our lives,' UN chief says as AI for Good conference kicks off

Humanoid robot Sophia is pictured during the ITU's AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland in 2023.
Humanoid robot Sophia is pictured during the ITU's AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland in 2023. Copyright MARTIAL TREZZINI/' KEYSTONE / MARTIAL TREZZINI
Copyright MARTIAL TREZZINI/' KEYSTONE / MARTIAL TREZZINI
By Euronews with AP
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The UN telecommunications agency has kicked off its annual AI for Good conference.

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the promises and perils of artificial intelligence (AI) as a conference on harnessing its benefits began.

The annual AI for Good conference aims to guide businesses, consumers, and governments on positive uses of AI while avoiding its potential risks.

The event this week in Geneva includes speeches and talks on AI applications for robotics, medicine, education, sustainable development and much more.

“Artificial intelligence is changing our world and our lives," Guterres said by video.

He noted its promise for things like education and health care in remote areas, increasing crop yields, and early warning systems for natural disasters.

Sam Altman, the head of OpenAI, is among the key speakers along with Tristan Harris co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and Azeem Azhar, founder of Exponential View.

While AI has been developed for years, its application for consumers burst into public view 18 months ago when OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a standout among AI systems that can churn out novel text, images, and video based on a vast database of online writing, books and other media.

Other corporate titans like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are vigorously competing in AI too.

OpenAI has been battling a rising tide of concern about how it handles AI safety, including criticism from former top executives who recently left the company.

Experts warn that AI could supercharge the spread of online disinformation as well.

With a few typed commands and requests, computer-generated texts and images can be spread on social media and across the Internet, blurring the line between fake news and reality.

“Transforming its potential into reality requires AI that reduces bias, misinformation and security threats, instead of aggravating them,” Guterres said.

He insisted that it must also involve helping developing countries "harness AI for themselves" and "connecting the unconnected" around the world.

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