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High-Level Event: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics - Reshaping the Future of Crime, Terrorism and Security

United Nations Headquarters, New York -

Together with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Georgia, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates, UNICRI convened a high-level event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The meeting focused on the role artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics can play in preventing and countering crime and terrorism, and strengthening security, as well the challenges that come with this. The meeting built upon foundations laid during the global meeting on the opportunities and risks of AI and robotics for law enforcement organized by INTERPOL and UNICRI in July 2018 – a report of which was presented to participants.

Download the report:

During the meeting, representatives from the law enforcement and security community shared their experiences with these technologies, noting that what is often considered a future possibility, is very much a present-day reality. At the same time, the importance of preparedness for the inevitable malicious use or misuse of these technologies was noted.

Various challenges presented by the adoption of AI and robotics by law enforcement and security agencies were also discussed, including how to ensure respect for human rights, putting policy before practice, explainability and transparency in the use of AI, and gender balance in both the AI and law enforcement communities.

Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, UNICRI Director, underscored that “as we embark down this road and explore the use of these innovative technologies in law enforcement and the security sector, we must ensure that we never lose sight of rule of law and the comprehensive body of human rights law that has been meticulously developed over decades. The risk of harm is too great. It will not be easy to translate these laws and principles into code, but I am confident that, if we continue to explore these opportunities and challenges collectively, we will succeed and our communities will be safer and more secure as a result.”

Carl Alexandre, Executive Director for Partnerships and Planning at INTERPOL, observed that a lot remains to be done on the policy and legislative side, but that we are making progress in this respect. The discussion, he noted, will continue at the 2nd INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement in Singapore from 2–4 July.

The meeting was attended by 150 persons and panellists and high-level speakers including representatives from the New York Police Department (NYPD); the National Criminal Investigation Service of Norway; United Nations Police; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Communication and Information Agency; the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT), Ernst & Young; Odlum Global Strategies; 1QBit; Google; and PredPol.

For more information:

Download the agenda:

About the event: Noon Briefing to the Media by the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General