crisis prevention

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a frontline technology with profound implications for human beings, cultures, societies and the environment. AI has the potential to be our ally in the struggle for a more equitable, fair, and sustainable future. It is remarkable that AI generated some of the earliest alerts about the COVID-19 outbreak, even before it was confirmed, by routinely scanning hundreds or thousands of governmental and media data sources in multiple languages. This analytical capacity has also helped accelerate the discovery of the vaccines, and even understanding the protein structures. Self-learning algorithms and smart machines are playing an increasingly important role in our efforts to recover from the current crisis. Digital platforms and infrastructure have been broadened to keep our economies, our schools and our societies going.

We must always keep in mind that AI technologies also possess significant risks and challenges, especially in terms of deepening the existing divides, exacerbating gender disparities, and infringing on human dignity and human rights. This is why there are many initiatives that have emerged to ensure that these technologies help to overcome the current crisis and mitigate future risks, while tackling the downsides. Thus, the European Union is launching its AI rulebook and UNESCO member states are negotiating the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.

This high level session is aimed at taking stock of where we are and how to move forward with the tools that we have and that are about to be developed. Speakers will share their perspectives on how to make sure that developments in these technologies do not create new forms of exclusion and inequalities, including gender, and how to justly distribute the benefits.

Register here:

View the full program and list of speakers here:


CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28U.  For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit

IFA Virtual Town Hall l with Dr. Sonia Mukhtar: Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Older Adults

COVID-19 and Older People Virtual Town Hall Series: A Conversation with Dr. Sonia Mukhtar

COVID-19 has propagated wide-reaching psychosocial impacts on older adults with financial losses being the least of concern. Mass fear of COVID-19 termed as “coronaphobia,” has generated a plethora of psychiatric manifestations. While the pandemic has made the COVID-19 vaccine the focal point, Dr. Sonia Mukhtar’s work on “psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on older adults” revealed the profound impacts the pandemic has had on the mental and physical well-being of older adults.

As the world reflects on the impact that COVID has had on older people in the context of the Decade of Healthy Ageing, advocating for psychosocial crisis prevention and intervention models to foster the abilities of older persons is more important than ever before. During a global pandemic where the needs of older persons need greater attention, attending to psychosocial needs aids to optimize healthy ageing.

Dr. Sonia Mukhtar is a COVID-19 researcher and a former-visiting faculty at University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Mukhtar’s is certified in Integrative Counseling.

Geneva, Switzerland: 13:00
Lagos, Nigeria: 13:00
New Delhi, India: 17:30
Perth, Australia: 20:00

This town hall will be recorded and streamed live on Facebook – – and a recording of the event will be available there afterwards. Further resources are available at:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit