UNIDO launches Global Alliance on AI for Industry and Manufacturing (AIM Global) at World AI Conference 2023

SHANGHAI, UNIDO’s Global Alliance on Artificial Intelligence for Industry and Manufacturing (AIM Global) was launched on 6 July 2023, at the World AI Conference (WAIC) held in Shanghai, China. This pioneering initiative aims to foster the responsible, sustainable, and inclusive application of artificial intelligence in the industrial sector, in accordance with the UN Secretary-General’s call to establish a Global Digital Compact that upholds shared principles for an open, free, and secure digital future for all.

AIM Global is a groundbreaking collaboration platform designed to bring together governments, international organizations, and the private sector and industry leaders who recognize the transformative potential of AI in driving inclusive and sustainable industrial development. By uniting global stakeholders under a common vision, AIM Global seeks to shape the future of AI while ensuring that ethical considerations, human-centricity, and sustainability remain at the forefront of technological advancements.

The launch of AIM Global brought together international figures in the field of AI, including high-level government representatives, policymakers, and leading experts from public and private sectors, who convened to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and forge strategic partnerships. For the year 2023, several founding partners, including Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Shanghai committed to support the pioneering efforts to enhance industrial competitiveness and sustainable development through AI.

Addressing the WAIC audience during the opening ceremony, Mr. Gerd Müller, UNIDO Director General, said: “It is our shared responsibility to ensure that advancements in the field of AI are made in a manner that is safe, ethical, sustainable and inclusive. AIM Global recognizes the importance of bridging the digital divide between nations and industries, ensuring that no one is left behind in the AI revolution. AIM Global will be at the forefront of shaping the AI landscape. Let us work collaboratively to build a future where AI is a force for good, where its benefits are accessible to all, and where innovation thrives in harmony with our shared values.”

During the WAIC plenary session, high-level government officials emphasized the global significance of UNIDO’s AIM Global initiative calling for active participation and joint action in the transformative field of AI. Representing UNIDO, Mr. Ciyong Zou, Deputy to the Director General and Managing Director, delivered a keynote speech marking the inauguration of AIM Global: “UNIDO’s Global Alliance was conceived as an international platform to foster AI development in industry and manufacturing that would facilitate research, develop ethical guidelines, and make policy recommendations for AI use globally. AIM Global will prioritize data protection, privacy, and trust in AI systems, advocating for improved mechanisms to safeguard sensitive data. These efforts will be reinforced by the establishment of AI Centers in different regions, as well as investments in education and training to empower individuals and organizations to leverage AI for innovation while upholding ethical standards”

Furthermore, UNIDO hosted a private panel session with leading experts from the private sector such as Huawei, McKinsey, INC Innovation Center at RWTH Aachen Campus, PwC China, SenseTime, and iNED. The aim was to discuss crucial topics in the field of AI policymaking, technology and innovation. These engaging discussions were part of UNIDO’s ongoing efforts to facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing among countries and organizations. Key takeaways included the importance of nurturing talent and digital skills, fostering collaboration between public and private sectors, industry and academia, and leveraging technological advancements to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). The speakers underscored the vital role of AIM Global in promoting a shared vision that would embrace multi-stakeholder approaches, while empowering developing countries to leverage the power of AI for sustainable development, inter alia, supported by the recently announced strategic partnership between UNIDO and Huawei and other global AI leaders.

Through collaborative efforts, AIM Global aims to unlock the full potential of AI, creating a global ecosystem that drives innovation, enhances productivity, and addresses societal challenges across the industrial landscape.


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