UNESCO struck an agreement with the European Commission (EC) to speed up the global implementation of an ethical AI framework formulated in 2021, while committing a €4 million investment to support regulatory initiatives in low-income countries.

The UN agency stated the AI guidelines, which have been backed by 193 member states, are currently adopted by nearly 30 countries. Through the partnership with EC, UNESCO hopes “least developed” countries can establish strategies and regulations around the technology at a national level.

Furthermore, UNESCO and EC will employ a global network of specialists, tasked with delivering policy advice to member states who are in the process of implementing the framework.

An annual global forum will also take place to platform learning initiatives among AI stakeholders.

Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO, said the agreement with EC will support the “mobilisation of experts and the organisation of AI training”.

In the framework, UNESCO recommends collaboration between nation-states, stakeholders, academic communities and others to promote accessible education, training and digital literacy as a method of increasing public awareness around AI.

UNESCO’s partnership with EC adds to efforts by governments globally taking a stronger stance on the technology’s risks.

Earlier this month, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak summarised his vision for AI safety regulation as the country commenced an initial review of AI’s impact.

The US and UK also pledged to collaborate on the research of AI deployments.