Leveraging UNESCO Normative Instruments for an Ethical Generative AI Use of Indigenous Data

Leveraging UNESCO Normative Instruments for an Ethical Generative AI Use of Indigenous Data

A key aspect of the indigenous data and AI discussion is data sovereignty. Indigenous communities are advocating for the right to own, control and govern their data, ensuring that the data collected from indigenous communities is used in a manner that aligns with their values and interests. Informed consent is a crucial in this process, allowing indigenous communities to have a say in how their data is utilized and shared. However, this also raises concerns about the options available to Indigenous communities, privacy issues and Intellectual Property Right associated with the usage of databases storing their information.

UNESCO provides a framework to support Member States to protect Indigenous knowledges and cultural expressions. These normative instruments can be incorporated in national legislation to emphasize the importance of multilingual content and equity. 

Recognizing the contextual subtleties inherent in Indigenous knowledge and improving or modifying legislative measures is essential to respect, protect and promote global diversity and inclusiveness. 

UNESCO remains committed to supporting indigenous peoples and respecting indigenous knowledge and data, focusing on ethical and inclusive practices in the development of generative AI, with the aim of harmoniously coexisting with technology and cultural heritage, preserving the rights and dignity of indigenous communities worldwide.

The discussion took place on 24 October 2023, within the framework of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL 2022-2032) was hosted by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). This discussion served as a crucial vehicle for the advancement of IDIL’s Global Action Plan.

The participants included Anthony Wong, President of IFIP, Prof. Natalie Stoianoff from the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Tui Raven, Creative Director & Cultural Advisor on Naarm in the Kulin Nation and Jaco du Toit, UNESCO Chief of Universal Access to Information Section, Communication and Information Sector.

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