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UNESCO's work recognized among best AI initiatives with social and ethical impact

03 - Good Health & Well Being
10 - Reduced Inequalities
16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

While the development and expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are creating significant challenges worldwide, Telefónica, OdiseIA and Compromiso Empresarial have joined forces to recognize the best AI initiatives with social and ethical impact.

UNESCO is among the 10 winners recognized for its efforts in elaborating a global Recommendation on the Ethics of AI. UNESCO received the award during a webinar on "The 10 best AI initiatives with social and ethical impact" organized on 2 December 2020.

We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the most impactful initiatives on AI in contributing to social and ethical outcomes! UNESCO is bringing ethics to the forefront as a global standard for the development of AI technologies to ensure that national regulation will prioritise ethics. We need technologies that contribute to the positive aspects of humanity while controlling the risks.

Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

Gabriela Ramos © UNESCO


UNESCO, as a global laboratory of ideas is playing a leading role in facilitating international cooperation and shaping the future of AI, and has taken up the challenge, mandated by its Member States, to develop the first global normative instrument in the form of a Recommendation on the Ethics of AI. This normative instrument translates the what of AI ethics into the how of relevant policy action, offering concrete ways for the realization of an ethical framework of universal principles and values.

Today, AI plays a role in billions of people’s lives. This has been exacerbated with the spread of the pandemic. Sometimes unnoticed but often with profound consequences, it transforms our societies and challenges what it means to be human. Along with multiple advantages, these technologies also generate downside risks and challenges, derived from malicious use of technology or deepening inequalities and divides.

The Recommendation pays particular attention to the wider ethical implications of AI systems in relation to UNESCO's core areas of education, science, culture and communication and information.


Telefónica, S.A. is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid, Spain. It is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. It provides fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and subscription television, operating in Europe and the Americas.

OdiseIA is an independent, objective and multidisciplinary observatory, which collects knowledge through research and analysis covering numerous sectors and areas as proposed by experts and partners.

Compromiso Empresarial is a magazine published by the Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia. It disseminates best practices, analysis and trends on initiatives related to social innovation.