Humanoid robots to take centre stage at UN meet on AI

A television journalist attaches a microphone to 'Ai-Da', an ultra-realistic robot, to record a conversation during a photocall in central London, on April 4, 2022. — AFP Relaxnews

Eight humanoid robots will be the star attractions when the United Nations hosts its first summit since the start of the pandemic on the benefits of artificial intelligence, it said on Feb 1.

The AI for Good Global Summit, first held in 2017, will return to Geneva on July 6 and 7 after a three-year Covid-imposed break, the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said.

The event will aim to showcase how artificial intelligence and other new technologies can help reach the UN’s so-called sustainable development goals (SDGs), including on fighting climate change and boosting humanitarian action.

“It’s in our collective interest that we can shape AI faster than it is shaping us,” the ITU’s new chief Doreen Bogdan-Martin said in a statement.

“This summit, as the UN’s primary platform for AI, will bring to the table leading voices representing a diversity of interests to ensure that AI can be a powerful catalyst for progress in our race to rescue the SDGs,” she added.

UN member states adopted the 17 SDGs in 2015. Their aims include achieving food security, eliminating poverty, and providing access to clean and affordable energy by 2030.

During the July event, eight humanoid social robots and more than 20 specialised robots will be brought together under the same roof for the first time, the ITU said.

The humanoid robots – Beonmi, Nadine, Sophia, Geminoid, 4NE-1, Ai-Da Robot, Grace and Desdemona – will showcase capabilities ranging from fighting fires and delivering aid to providing healthcare and farming sustainably, it said.

At the event, government officials, industry executives, academics and UN agency heads are due to discuss the policies, regulations and standards needed for AI to help advance sustainable development.

There will also be an “innovation factory”, where startups from around the world can pitch their AI solutions for advancing the SDGs. – AFP Relaxnews

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