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Ernesto Ottone conveyed the greetings of UNESCO at the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference

Creating works using Artificial Intelligence could have very important implications for copyright law. Traditionally, the ownership of copyright in computer-generated works was not in question because the program was merely a tool that supported the creative process, very much like a pen and paper. Creative works thus qualify for copyright protection if they are original, with most definitions of originality requiring a human author.

We are in the throes of a technological revolution that may require us to rethink the interaction between computers and the creative process. This revolution is underpinned by the rapid development of machine learning software, a subset of artificial intelligence that produces autonomous systems that are capable of learning without being specifically programmed by a human.

ERNESTO OTTONE, Assistant Director-General, Culture Sector of UNESCO conveyed the greetings of the UN agency, focusing his statement on ethical AI.


“It is my great pleasure to join you for this 23rd Infopoverty World Conference, focused on AI, human rights, and sustainable development. UNESCO has been at the forefront of calling for an ethical and human-centric approach to AI. Our 2021 recommendation on the ethics of AI declares that the development of AI must be guided by human dignity and human rights, as well as gender equality, social and economic justice, and the development of physical and mental well-being, diversity, interconnectedness, inclusiveness, and ecosystem protection.
As the UN agency with the mandate in the field of culture, UNESCO supports the cultural and creative industries, in navigating the rapidly changing digital landscapes, to ensure that it benefits creatives and societies at large. While AI can be an important driver of sustainable development, it also makes it increasingly difficult for copyright owners to safeguard their work and ensure they’re fairly remunerated for its digital use. This calls for governments to adopt specific measures to ensure that artists’ rights are protected from AI. This was reflected in the UN 2022 declaration, which called for strong efforts to guarantee the social and economic rights of artists and better regulation of digital platforms. AI will also be at the heart of the next Modiacult 2025, to be held in Barcelona.
UNESCO has recently formed an expert reflection group to advise on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expression in the digital environment. UNESCO is supporting our member states to democratize access to digital creative tools and platforms. We want to ensure that governments are equipped with the knowledge and training necessary to develop policies, legislation, and other measures to protect and promote culture in the digital environment.
I hope that this conference will contribute to the growing consensus around the need to put human rights and sustainable development at the center of AI. And for this, you can count on UNESCO’s engagement in this effort. Thank you.

The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference will include the most relevant insights that emerged from the discussion and will include a list of projects and proposals suggested by the speakers.

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