RIA Provides Feedback on the UN’s Interim Report on AI Governance

Research ICT Africa (RIA) has submitted feedback on the Interim Report: Governing AI for Humanity, published by the UN Secretary-General’s AI Advisory Body. The interim report, which calls for a closer alignment between international norms and the development and deployment of AI, has garnered significant attention from stakeholders.

RIA’s submission supported the interim report’s anchor concerns, which center around governance deficits, power disparities, and social inequalities. The AI Advisory Body is correct to note that “today’s AI benefits are accruing largely to a handful of states, companies, and individuals”. This stance is a clear indication of social costs that arise from the concentrated control over the essential resources that fuel the AI revolution. RIA emphasised that the uneven distribution of benefits and harms, with the Global South bearing a disproportionate burden, risks reinforcing and amplifying existing material and economic injustices. RIA further noted that there is space to strengthen the understanding of fundamental drivers of inequality and exploitation and to highlight the need for redress and redistribution. RIA expressed strong support for the report’s call to establish “shared and codified norms and values” adopted by UN member states, as a crucial step in promoting a more equitable governance of the global information and communication space.

As the consultation process continues, RIA’s submission underscores the importance of ensuring that the final report provides a robust and equitable framework for the governance of AI, one that prioritises the interests of all humanity, not just a select few.