09 September 2021

Global Forum on AI for Children

About the event, This work is part of UNICEF's  AI for Children project .  For the past two years, UNICEF and the Government of Finland have  https://www.unicef.org/globalinsight/featured-projects/ai-children partnered  to better understand how artificial intelligence (AI) systems can protect, provide for and empower children. On 30 November and 1 December 2021,…, The event in numbers, 71, speakers (over 60 per cent women) from 22 countries, 450, attendees from over 30 countries, 300+, tweets on #ai4children, 60+ , resources shared by participants, 514, one-to-one chat messages between participants, 7, illustrated summaries of the plenary sessions, 10 key takeaways, Experts from around the world met to share diverse perspectives on effective AI policies and strategies, the future of child-friendly AI, and how AI impacts on key areas such as learning, health, play and child safety. The following are key messages and takeaways from these rich discussions:, 1. Making AI work for children is urgent business., Children interact with AI systems every day, through social media, games and learning apps. AI influences their online activities, development and worldview. AI also impacts children indirectly, such as when their educational futures or parents’ access to public services are decided by algorithms. And yet, as the participants pointed out, children…, 2. People are responsible for creating and shaping AI systems for children., Professor Virginia Dignum articulated that behind every algorithmic decision about children is a human: “AI is not artificial – it is based on real data and real human effort, uses energy and affects our world in many different ways; AI is not intelligent – or able to understand the meaning of the very good predictions it can make; and AI is not…, 3. There are many ways in which corporations and governments can make AI work for children., Participants suggested actions that can be taken by corporate leaders, product managers, researchers and policymakers. These include providing training on child rights for AI development teams as part of their onboarding (and ideally before that at the university level), establishing mechanisms to assess products before they are launched (e.g.…, 4. “If we're making decisions on AI for children, we need to be including children.”, So said Alisha Arora, Youth Ambassador for UNICEF. Children’s voices must be heard directly, instead of only the voices of adults, as demonstrated in the AutismVR case study in Nigeria. Engagement of children by stakeholders involved in the design, development and governance of AI systems and policies needs to be meaningful and ongoing: what…, 5. It’s time for education systems to keep pace with AI-powered opportunities and risks., AI is already reshaping the future of work and the skills that will be needed, so there is a real urgency to educate children now as they will increasingly need to be able to blend traditional skills and disciplines with AI-related skills. Incorporating AI education into curricula and teaching children about AI makes them conscious users of AI-…, 6. Without meaningful diversity, equality and accessibility, AI will benefit some children but sideline many more., The lack of diversity in teams developing AI models – especially a lack of children’s voices – and in the data that are used to train AI systems leads to bias that can reproduce inequality and reinforce marginalization and exclusion. Since data used to train AI solutions are often skewed towards those in the Global North, the specific needs and…, 7. Implementing AI policies and systems for children often requires carefully considered trade-offs., Since AI can be both a source of opportunity and risk for children, a holistic approach when developing policies and systems can help uncover the interrelation between the positives and negatives and help identify (sometimes necessary) trade-offs. For example, when implementing the principle of age-appropriateness in design, it is necessary to…, 8. Ethics and children’s rights are not ‘boxes’ to be ticked at the end., The ethical implications of AI systems and their impact on children’s rights and well-being should be considered during all stages of the product and service lifecycle. Participants shared examples from the public sector (e.g. the Ethical Framework for Artificial Intelligence in Colombia advocates for recognising and respecting children’s and…, 9. Cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration in AI is just as important for children as for adults., A collaborative multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary approach brings together technical and non-technical expertise, private and public sector actors, and supports the inclusion of children and their families from diverse backgrounds and settings in developing responsible AI systems. This also results in capacity-building amongst those…, 10. Within the public sector, only a ‘whole of government’ approach to AI can break through silos., To be properly operationalized, AI policy needs to be aligned with existing policies in relevant sectors, such as health, education and economic development. However, this is challenging because government departments are often siloed. AI Sweden , working with municipalities and national departments, calls AI a cross-cutting technology that forces…, Conversations, “AI is not artificial. AI is not intelligent. AI is not magic. #AI is what we make of it…. It’s an opp but also a risk to child rights but we can use it to make many benefits for them…[incl] to support their right to play.”v @vdignum @UmeaUniversity Global Forum on #ai4children — annecollier (@annecollier) November 30, 2021 https://twitter.com/…, Explore content from the forum, Watch videos of keynote presentations and panel discussions, and read a summary of breakout group discussions, Day one, November 30, 15:00–15:05 Helsinki studio greetings  Rauna Rahja, Media Literacy Expert, Dadamedia (Host) 15:05–15:15        Welcome and opening remarks ( watch video ) Elina Kalkku, Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Fayaz King, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director,…, Day two, December 1, 15:00 – 15:10 Welcome back ( watch video ) Steven Vosloo, Digital Policy Specialist, UNICEF Jasmina Byrne, Chief of Policy, UNICEF 15:10 – 15:30        Keynote: Future trends in AI policies and practice ( watch video ) Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, MEP, European Parliament Youth discussant: Alisha Arora, Youth Ambassador, UNICEF 15:30 – 15:45 …, Looking ahead, The updated Policy Guidance on AI for Children 2.0 can be a useful tool for government and the private sector on their journey towards safe, equitable and ethical AI systems. But for the policy guidance to make a real difference for children, political will and commitment to use and implement it is needed. That means making resources available (…, Contact us, This project is made possible by funding and technical support from the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs, Finland. We are grateful for their continued partnership and commitment to child rights. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland logo
03 September 2020

Policy guidance on AI for children

As part of our AI for children project , UNICEF has developed this policy guidance to promote children's rights in government and private sector AI policies and practices, and to raise awareness of how AI systems can uphold or undermine these rights. The policy guidance explores AI systems, and considers the ways in which they impact children.…, Artificial intelligence (AI) is about so much more than self-driving cars and intelligent assistants on your phone. AI systems are increasingly being used by governments and the private sector to, for example, improve the provision of education, healthcare and welfare services. While AI is a force for innovation, it also poses risks for children…, How the guidance was developed, Public consultation The draft policy guidance ( version 1.0 ) was released in September 2020. UNICEF subsequently sought input from stakeholders who are interested in or working in areas related to the fields of AI and children’s rights. This included AI developers and deployers, companies, government agencies, civil society, international…, Share your feedback, If you use the guidance and publish your experiences as a case study, we invite you to share your experiences and learnings openly. November 2021, Policy guidance on AI for children2.0 | NOVEMBER 2021 Policy guidance on AI for children 2.0 | NOVEMBER 2021 UNICEF works in the worlds toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive…