IE University and UNESCO launch a UNESCO Chair on AI Ethics and Governance

IE University launches a UNESCO Chair on AI Ethics and Governance
IE University builds on its existing collaboration with UNESCO to research the challenges of ethics in AI development, drive regulation, and promote reflection to maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks of AI.

IE University, through its School of Humanities, and UNESCO have announced the launch of a Chair on Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Governance in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to contribute to setting global standards and norms, drive ethical reflection, and build capacities to maximize the benefits of artificial intelligence while limiting its risks.

In line with UNESCO’s Recommendations on the Ethics of AI, the UNESCO Chair on AI Ethics and Governance hosted at IE School of Humanities will catalyze path-breaking research, human capital development, knowledge sharing, and North-South cooperation.

The Chair will be directed by Dr. Theodore Lechterman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at IE University, whose research addresses the responsibilities of technology companies and the implications of AI for democracy. Lechterman trained at Harvard and Princeton and was previously a research fellow at the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford.

"The UNESCO Recommendation is the world’s most widely endorsed set of guidelines for responsible AI. We are honored to partner with UNESCO to help realize a future where the transformative potential of AI is carefully considered, the benefits are fully leveraged and shared, and the risks are both mitigated and equitably distributed," said Lechterman.

"This new Chair arrives at a time of active international debate on the social and ethical impact of artificial intelligence. The design of tools like ChatGPT has awakened the world to the potential of AI, highlighting issues of bias, accountability, and disruption of the future of work," explained Lechterman, who points out that technology companies are designing increasingly powerful tools every day, while governments work in parallel on their regulation.

"Academics can play a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by AI and equipping the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills to manage this technology responsibly."
Theodore Lechterman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at IE University

"Both institutions will contribute to the research output of the Chair. We work every day to drive positive change through education, innovation, and research. And through this Chair, we will foster debate, develop research projects, and promote the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence," added Manuel Muñiz, Provost of IE University.

"We are walking the talk in our cooperation between UNESCO and IE University. We are proud to support their bachelor's degree in Humanities, as well as the new Chair on AI Ethics and Governance. To confront the many challenges posed by AI – more than only geeks (although there is nothing wrong with that) – we need humanities and ethics! It is all about how to build more inclusive societies," declared Gabriela Ramos, Assistant-Director General of Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO.

IE University launches a UNESCO Chair on AI Ethics and Governance