6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity



by Robert Muggah & Camino Kavanagh

World Economic Forum
July 5, 2018

Most technologies are dual use: take the case of digital technologies that are fundamentally transforming governance, markets and development for the better. Yet the malicious use of these same technologies also poses serious challenges to global stability. In the current international climate, the potential for miscalculation and destabilization is real. Online crime is already costing the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year and appears to be worsening. Meanwhile, the race is on to dominate and in some cases weaponize frontier technologies – including artificial intelligence (AI) – with implications that will undoubtedly shape the future direction of humanity. Finding ways to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of these new tools can be surprisingly difficult.

The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, takes this duality seriously. He sees the potential of new technologies to deliver positive change but also to unleash serious harm. At least this is what his soon-to-be-released strategy on new technologies will claim. Conscious of the world’s growing dependence on a vast array of new technologies (often described as the “fourth industrial revolution”), the UN is preparing to do what it does best: issue new reports and set up committees to ruminate on the subject. The secretary-general’s strategy calls for expanding the organization’s knowledge base on new technologies, particularly as they relate to its core areas of work: international peace and security, development and human rights. It also recommends that the UN intensify innovation efforts, appoint tech-savvy champions, convene a panel of leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors, and accelerate learning among UN member states. The UN chief has already put agencies on notice, requesting that they scale up innovation.

All of this is good news – assuming, of course, the UN and its secretary-general have the capacity and resources to deliver.

Image credit: Amanda Dalbjörn/Unsplash


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

No events are scheduled at this time.


Global Times: BRICS summit displays the potential of a new future

by Editorial Staff (feat. Swaran Singh), WSFA 12, June 24, 2022

Oil's Dive Won't Bring Any Immediate Relief on Inflation

by Alex Longley, Elizabeth low, and Barbara Powell (feat. Amrita Sen), BNNBloomberg, June 24, 2022

China To Tout Its Governance Model At BRICS Summit

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), The Asean Post, June 23, 2022

Soutien aux victimes d’inconduites sexuelles dans l’armée

by Rude Dejardins (feat. Charlotte Duval-Lantoine), ICI Radio Canada, June 23, 2022

Defence: $4.9 billion for radars against Russian bombs

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), Archynews, June 23, 2022

The Hans Island “Peace” Agreement between Canada, Denmark, and Greenland

by Elin Hofverberg (feat. Natalie Loukavecha), Library of Congress, June 22, 2022

What the future holds for western Canadian oil producers

by Gabriel Friedman (feat. Kevin Birn), Beaumont News, June 22, 2022

At BRICS summit, China sets stage to tout its governance model

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), Aljazeera, June 22, 2022

Crude oil price: there are no changes to the fundamentals

by Faith Maina (feat. Amrita Sen), Invezz, June 22, 2022

Few details as Liberals promise billions to upgrade North American defences

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Andrea Charron), National Newswatch, June 20, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand to make announcement on continental defence

by Steven Chase (feat. Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 19, 2022

Table pancanadienne des politiques

by Alain Gravel (feat. Jean-Christophe Boucher), ICI Radio Canada, June 18, 2022

Russia Ukraine conflict

by Gloria Macarenko (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Radio One, June 17, 2022

New privacy Bill to introduce rules for personal data, AI use

by Shaye Ganam (feat. Tom Keenan), 680 CHED, June 17, 2022


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6


Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]


Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.


© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email