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Thursday, December 21 • 09:00 - 10:00
Exploring implications of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Knowledge Societies and SDGs (OF66)

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UNESCO Open Forum: Exploring implications of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for building inclusive Knowledge Societies and achieving SDGs (0F66)

 IGF Day 4: Thursday 21st December 2017, 9:00-10:00 am; Room XXI-E

UNESCO organizes this Open Forum to trigger debates and reflections on the human rights and other implications of big data and Artificial Intelligence on building inclusive knowledge societies and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Big data and Open data are evolving and contested concepts, as is the significance of the phenomena they point to. Debates exist over issues such as ownership, accountability and transparency, as well as human rights, evolving techniques, novel applications, reuse and interoperability of data.

Meanwhile, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly progressing. Intelligent machines are gaining the ability to communicate without human mediation via the Internet of things, learn, improve and make calculated decisions in ways that will enable them to perform tasks previously thought to rely solely on human skill and learning, raising issues for the future of learning, experience, creativity, and ingenuity.

 All these technological developments may profoundly shape humanity’s access to information and knowledge, impact the mode of communication as well as the practice of journalism, as well as bring multiple ethical and human rights implications particularly rights to freedom of expression, privacy, and association. The implications for open education resources, digital persistence, democracy, peace and the sustainable development goals could be significant.

 UNESCO perceives a crucial need to explore these issues and reflect whether it is possible to harness big data and AI technologies as a process to advance human rights, build inclusive knowledge societies and achieve 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

 The forum will engage with how these emerging issues impact on the Organisation’s concept of Internet Universality, which promotes online Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation, and the current project to develop appropriate indicators to assess Internet development as well as global initiatives of promoting media and information literacy.

 Moderator: Ms. Xianhong Hu, UNESCO

 Welcome Remarks (5’): Mr. Indrajit Banerjee, UNESCO Director Knowledge Societies Division       


 5’ Ms. Mila Romanoff, UN Global Pulse

5’ Ms. Sophie Kwasny, the Council of Europe                                               

5’ Ms. Nanjira Sambuli, Web Foundation                                                           

5’ Ms. Judith Herzog, Conseil national du numérique    

5’ Mr. Tijani Ben Jemaa, ICANN/ FMAI  

5’ Mr. Frits Bussemaker, Chair of the Institute for Accountability and Internet Democracy  



Discussion: 25’


Rapporteur:  Ms. Xianhong Hu, UNESCO


Remote moderator: Mr Guilherme Canela, UNESCO


Notes and photos: Mr. Zhaocan Li, UNESCO 

Session Organizers
avatar for Xianhong Hu

Xianhong Hu

Programme Specialist, UNESCO
Dr. Xianhong Hu, UNESCO’s Programme Specialist at the Sector of Communication and Information since 2006. Her expertise and responsibilities are in the areas of freedom of expression, privacy, journalism, media development, Internet governance and AI policies. She has followed the... Read More →

Thursday December 21, 2017 09:00 - 10:00 CET
Room XXI - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)