Remarks at a UN Security Council High-Level Briefing on Artificial Intelligence

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 18, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you to the UK for convening this discussion, and thank you to the Secretary-General, Mr. Jack Clarke, and Professor Yi Zeng for your valuable insights.

Mr. President, Artificial Intelligence offers incredible promise to address global challenges, such as those related to food security, education, and medicine. Automated systems are already helping to grow food more efficiently, predict storm paths, and identify diseases in patients, and thus – used appropriately – AI can accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

AI, however, also has the potential to compound threats and intensify conflicts, including by spreading mis- and dis-information, amplifying bias and inequality, enhancing malicious cyberoperations, and exacerbating human rights abuses.

We, therefore, welcome this discussion to understand how the Council can find the right balance between maximizing AI’s benefits while mitigating its risks.

This Council already has experience addressing dual-use capabilities and integrating transformative technologies into our efforts to maintain international peace and security.

As those experiences have taught us, success comes from working with a range of actors, including Member States, technology companies, and civil society activists, through the Security Council and other UN bodies, and in both formal and informal settings.

The United States is committed to doing just that and has already begun such efforts at home. On May 4, President Biden met with leading AI companies to underscore the fundamental responsibility to ensure AI systems are safe and trustworthy. These efforts build on the work of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, which recently released an AI Risk Management Framework to provide organizations with a voluntary set of guidelines to manage risks from AI systems.

Through the White House’s October 2022 Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, we are also identifying principles to guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems so rights, opportunities, and access to critical resources or services are enjoyed equally and are fully protected.

We are now working with a broad group of stakeholders to identify and address AI-related human rights risks that threaten to undermine peace and security. No Member State should use AI to censor, constrain, repress or disempower people.

Military use of AI can and should also be ethical, responsible, and enhance international security. Earlier this year, the United States released a proposed Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of AI and Autonomy, which elaborates principles on how to develop and use AI in the military domain in compliance with applicable international law.

The proposed Declaration highlights that military use of AI capabilities must be accountable to a human chain of command and that states should take steps to minimize unintended bias and accidents. We encourage all Member States to endorse this proposed Declaration.

Here at the UN, we welcome efforts to develop and apply AI tools that improve our joint efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance, provide early warning for issues as diverse as climate change or conflict, and further other shared goals. The International Telecommunication Union’s recent “AI for Good Global Summit,” represents one step in that direction.

Within the Security Council, we welcome continued discussions on how technological advancements, including when and how to take action to address governments’ or non-state actors’ misuse of AI technologies to undermine international peace and security.

We must also work together to ensure AI and other emerging technologies are not used primarily as weapons or tools of oppression, but rather as tools to enhance human dignity and help us achieve our highest aspirations – including for a more secure and peaceful world.

The United States looks forward to working with all relevant parties to ensure the responsible development and use of trustworthy AI systems serves the global public good.

I thank you.