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In November 2021, 193 Member States of UNESCO adopted the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This global standard aims to leverage the positive impact of AI while addressing its inherent risks. Countries around the world are now in the process of implementing the Recommendation, with UNESCO supporting them through various capacity-building efforts. UNESCO is partnering with McGovern Foundation to scale up the impact and extend the reach of these efforts. The project funded is targeting four countries to translate the Recommendation into national institutional and regulatory frameworks and to build a national consensus on the shared vision for AI.
Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), and direct supervision of the Chief of Bioethics and Ethics of Science and Technology Section, the Programme Specialist is responsible for managing and coordinating the delivery of a project funded by McGovern Foundation on Harnessing the power of AI to promote equal opportunities in the digital world, and leverage complementarities with other projects and initiatives deployed by SHS sector to build the national capacities for the implementation of the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.
The Programme Specialist shall undertake the following duties and responsibilities:
Programme and Project Work:
- Managing and coordinating the overall delivery of the project, including its critical components to be pursued in the four beneficiary countries:
- Overseeing the implementation of the project across all of its components, leading the Readiness Assessment Methodology, overseeing the organization of relevant conferences and steering committees, and supporting the multidisciplinary national steering committee that will oversee the project implementation.
- Identifying and contracting a lead implementing partner in the country, to conduct Readiness Assessment, to gain in-depth understanding of the potential for AI development, the state of the art in the country in terms of institutional and regulatory readiness, as well as the regulatory and institutional gaps to be filled to transform the potential into action.
- Organizing broad-based national consultations, based on the results of the readiness assessment, including a set of targeted capacity building activities within specific policy domains.
- Delivering a high-level National Forum on AI to showcase the outcome of the diagnostic exercise and the national consultations.
- Developing a National AI Strategy, or other governance mechanisms as needed, containing a roadmap for policy reform on the ethical governance of AI, based on the short- and long-term priorities identified, and using the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence as a blueprint.
- Supervising research on the ethical, legal and social implications of artificial intelligence, including adjacent domains of digital economy, data governance, innovation and respective legal frameworks at the international, regional and national levels; Ensuring the uptake of this research in the delivery of the project, as well as the production of the key capacity-building and promotional outputs.
- Drafting policy briefs, blog posts, and other relevant materials based on conducted research and analysis;
- Contributing to the preparation of interventions in public fora, such as conferences, panels and others;
- Conducting other research and analysis related to the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence as necessary.
Advice and Knowledge Management:
- Provide advice to the Sector on tools, resources and policies related to the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence, including for the implementation of the 2021 Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.
- Maintain awareness of development and advancements in the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence in order to advice the Sector on policy formulation, project development, resources and best practices.
- Ensure technical backstopping for the project, as well as the related initiatives and events, and provide technical support to colleagues, Field Offices and Institutes on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence, including on the implementation of the 2021 Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.
- Research, recommend and contribute to the development and expansion of a knowledge base on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence, ensuring regular contributions to web and printed content and dissemination to colleagues and stakeholders.
- Coordinate with every UNESCO section and office engaged in this exercise.
Network and Partnership:
- Build, maintain, and enhance working relations with concerned UN agencies, relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and national/local authorities.
- Liaise with internal and external stakeholders to discuss developments and exchange and archive ideas.
- Attend and participate in meetings, conferences, workshops and seminars to promote knowledge sharing and contribute to advocacy efforts, especially on the 2021 Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
- Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in governance of artificial intelligence, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence or digital technologies, law and technology, or other related fields.
- Minimum four (4) years of relevant professional experience on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies, at national and/or international level.
- Experience with managing multidimensional projects.
- Proven experience in conducting research and analysis and/or implementing programmes/projects on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies, as well as standards related to these issues.
Skills and competencies
- Very good understanding of the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies.
- Good analytical, organizational and project management skills.
- Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
- Good analytical skills with ability to undertake research including the collection and synthesis of information from various sources.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare and present findings and recommendations on issues clearly and concisely.
- Good interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy with ability to build and maintain effective partnerships at all levels.
- Ability to work effectively in a team and to maintain good working relations within a multi-cultural environment.
- Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines with minimal supervision.
- Good IT skills, including knowledge of standard office software.
- Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of English or French, and a good knowledge of the other.
- Ph.D. or equivalent in governance of artificial intelligence, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence or digital technologies, law and technology, or other related fields.
- At least two (2) year of professional experience on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence acquired at the international level.
- Experience with inter-agency mechanisms of the United Nations System or other multilateral organizations on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and/or other related frontier digital technologies.
- Knowledge of Spanish.
To apply for this job please visit careers.unesco.org.