United Kingdom, London (U.C. London)

UNESCO Chair in Artificial Intelligence


Description and Mandate of the Chair

The Chair studies Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a driver and component for solutions and strategies to assist the achievement of the SDGs.  It will contribute to the way information can be intelligently assimilated and utilized across a range of sectors and services, and drive AI to follow a development course.

The project focuses on AI at the national (or regional) level and will offer evidence and guidance ranging from AI research methods, use cases, deployment, exploration, exploitation and operability, applied to all SDG sectors. The implementation, impact and creation analysis of AI initiatives are line with agendas pursued other UNESCO Chairs.

It will create an AI research agenda and technology roadmap, and a series of AI deployment scenarios in specific contexts. The Chair will embed the values of ethics, well-being, peace and human rights within AI, how stakeholders and policymakers can best utilize AI, taking advantage of its benefits and minimizing risks.

John Shawe-Taylor has the role of Chairholder and is the Director of IRCAI, the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO. With co-chair Maria Perez-Ortiz he has been leading the development of the new MSc programme on AI for Sustainable Development, launched in October 2022 with the UCL Computer Science Department. Their work spans from research into rigorous analysis of fairness to the applications of AI to a range of SDGs including education, climate, agriculture and health. With Davor Orlic and Delmiro Fernandes-Reyes they have been promoting the application of AI to sustainable development challenges in the global south, most especially in Africa.


  • Present the potential of AI for SDGs
  • Place the issue of AI for SDGs on the national, regional and international agenda
  • Mobilizing an AI community
  • Evaluate the critical success and failure factors
  • Disseminate and share the broad AI knowledge


  • AI Research – research activities on AI for SDGs – enabled artificial intelligence applications with definition of case studies
  • Prototype development, installation and deployment of state-of-the-art AI tools and technologies
  • Dissemination and demonstration
  • Exchange of research staff
  • Networking

(UNESCO No. 2019GB1318)
(Ver. 07-2023)

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