UNIDO at the AI for Good Global Summit 2023: Harnessing AI for sustainable industrialization

GENEVA – Emphasizing the importance of collaboration within the United Nations (UN) system for tackling the opportunities and challenges presented by artificial intelligence (AI), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) engaged in a series of high-level expert sessions during the AI for Good Global Summit 2023. The summit is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with 40 UN agencies and co-convened with the government of Switzerland on 6-7 July 2023.

Leveraging its extensive experience in the field of digital transformation and the adoption of frontier technologies, UNIDO seeks to shape the agenda for harnessing AI’s potential in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

AI for Good also served as a notable platform offering diverse discussions and exhibition formats to preview the participation in the Global Alliance on Artificial Intelligence for Industry and Manufacturing (AIM-Global), led by UNIDO, creating an opportunity for engagement with the fast-growing international AI community.

UNIDO’s AIM-Global will be launched on 6 July 2023, during the World AI Conference (WAIC) 2023 in Shanghai, China. This groundbreaking initiative seeks to promote the responsible, sustainable, and inclusive use of AI in the industrial sector. By partnering with global leaders in the field of frontier technologies, AIM-Global will serve as a dynamic multi-stakeholder platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and the showcasing of best practices to address challenges stemming from the adoption of AI and drive digital transformation that generates significant social value. It will empower developing countries to harness the power of AI while advancing the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

This year, UNIDO participates in the inter-agency working group on AI (IAWG-AI) co-chaired by UNESCO and ITU, seeking to contribute to all relevant AI inter-agency mechanisms, processes, and strategies. The IAWG-AI also facilitates inter-agency cooperation in capacity building activities to support Members States in sustainably and effectively utilizing AI, while addressing manifold challenges associated with its adoption. Through these efforts, UNIDO strengthens UN system-wide capacities to deliver concrete applicable solutions based on its technical expertise, which will drive positive transformation through the responsible use of AI.

The UNIDO delegation contributed to expert exchanges during the Day 0 workshop on “Accelerating sustainable manufacturing with AI”, highlighting successful practices derived from technical assistance projects implemented in Belarus, Jordan, Namibia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). The workshop brought together speakers and participants from international development organizations, academia, and industry to explore applications of AI in product lifecycle management, smart factories, and supply chain management. Discussions evolved around topics such as AI-driven modeling, digital twins, blockchain, 5G, and edge computing, while gaining insights from case studies showcasing AI’s impact on manufacturing sustainability, efficiency, and competitiveness. The workshop further highlighted challenges and ethical aspects, fostering collaborative dialogues to explore novel approaches for responsible adoption of AI in the manufacturing sector.

The AI for Good Global Summit serves as a crucial gathering of international leaders and experts in the field of AI and frontier technologies that aims to identify practical AI solutions that will contribute to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The two-day summit is preceded by ten machine learning workshops held on 5 July 2023 and is complemented by a year-round digital knowledge and networking platform, facilitating continuous engagement and collaboration among stakeholders in the AI community.


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