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IEEE to Join Stakeholders at World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum in Support of UN Sustainable Development Goals

IEEE will address Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (AI/AS) in High-Level Policy Statement

PISCATAWAY, NJ, 15 March 2018 - IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, today announced its participation as a partner for specific activities at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum to be held 19-23 March in Geneva. The annual event gathers global multistakeholders and serves as a key forum for discussing the role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as a means of implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

The WSIS Forum focuses on making the information society accessible to all citizens of the world. Having launched the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and recently published Ethically Aligned Design, V2, IEEE shares the vision of a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society as outlined by the UN through WSIS. As part of its commitment to working with all categories of stakeholders to implement the WSIS vision, IEEE's WSIS Forum 2018 participation includes the following programs:

High Level Policy Segment

2017 IEEE President Karen Bartleson will deliver IEEE's intervention at the High-Level Policy segment of the meeting on 20 March. Policy statements are delivered by high-ranking officials of the WSIS stakeholder community, representing the government, private sector, civil society, academia and international organizations. Bartleson will share IEEE's support for the WSIS process and working together with stakeholders to develop tangible and actionable programs, while providing insights and bringing to light the ethical issues and challenges related to technology development around Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (AI/AS).

?AI and AS have been recognized as key enablers for achieving the missions of humanitarian relief, human rights, and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals," said Bartleson. "AI/AS provides an opportunity to demonstrate the positive and supportive role that technology can play in such critical areas. IEEE believes the development of autonomous systems for the common good needs to be human-centered and address accountability to ensure that all outcomes are fair and inclusive. These beliefs fall directly within the framework of the WSIS Forum."

In addition, Deepak Maheshwari, IEEE Internet Initiative Chair, and Moira Patterson, Global Affairs Program Director, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), will serve as High-Level Track Facilitators on 20-21 March during WSIS Forum High-Level Policy Sessions, which are organized around themes identified as important by the WSIS stakeholders.

IEEE Panel Discussions

John Havens, IEEE Executive Director of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, will moderate a panel discussion entitled Achieving SDGs Through Ethically Aligned Design on 22 March. Panel participants will highlight challenges and discuss current activities and actions addressing ethically aligned design issues. Through the IEEE Global Initiative, IEEE-SA has 12 active standards projects addressing a wide range of technical and ethical issues that are chaired and co-chaired by leading subject matter experts in their respective fields of study.

On 19 March, Paul Cunningham, Chair of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, will lend his perspectives to a discussion about IEEE and the SDGs, emphasizing the work of IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and IEEE Humanitarian and Philanthropic Activities.

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About the IEEE Standards Association 

The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 1,200 active standards and over 650 standards under development. For more information visit

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