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AI expert taps UN officials to learn how to build a global AI regulatory body

Gary Marcus, a cognitive scientist and expert on AI, said he's consulting with people in the UN and UNESCO about how to create a global AI regulatory agency.

An AI expert said he's consulting with United Nations and UNESCO officials about how to create an international agency to regulate artificial intelligence technologies.

"I think the UN, UNESCO, places like that have been thinking about this for a long time, and I'm consulting with some people in those organizations," said Gary Marcus, who hosts the AI-focused podcast, "Humans vs Machines with Gary Marcus."


"A lot of this has to be behind the scenes because there are a lot of parties to please and balance and so forth," said Marcus, who led Uber's AI labs from 2016-2017 and co-authored the book "Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust." "But I would say the progress has really been spectacular."

Marcus hopes an international agency would help restrict AI-generated misinformation and other potential risks associated with the technology's breakneck advancement. Bad actors could use AI software to "write billions of pieces of misinformation in a single day" or fool people into committing cyber crime, Marcus recently told Fox News.

The agency he envisions would solicit public opinion as part of its decision-making processes.

"I think if we are to build an international organization, it can't just be wealthy and high-prestige people making decisions for everybody else," the AI author told Fox News. "There has to be channels of communication to different sectors of society and around the world."


Marcus said he's received "a lot of interest" from unspecified governments and individuals "volunteering to help" since he first publicly floated the idea of forming a global body to regulate AI last month.

"Already I've got lots and lots of people talking to me about it," the cognitive scientist told Fox News.

Though he's unsure how an international AI agency would incorporate public feedback, Marcus said he's using Twitter to experiment with the idea.

"We ran a Twitter space, and we will run another, where we've gotten input from the community," he told Fox News.

Another challenge: Forming an AI regulatory body on a global scale would require significant funding.

"We need money," he said. "We need some philanthropists probably to get us started."

"It's still a very long road," Marcus told Fox News. "It's a big ask, but I think the time for it is right."

To watch the full interview, click here. To listen to Marcus' podcast, click here.

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