The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It holds an annual intergovernmental forum for discussion on timely and pertinent issues affecting science, technology and development. Since 2006, the Commission has been mandated by ECOSOC to serve as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the information Society (WSIS).
Its members are composed of national governments. However civil society contributes to discussions that take place. Strong links exist with other UN bodies (The Commission on the Status of Women, Regional Commissions, ITU, UNESCO).
Outcomes of the CSTD include providing the United Nations General Assembly and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant science and technology issues. UNCTAD is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission.
AI development and its impact on the future of work
We live in a time of rapid technological change, in which we already see how digital technologies are transforming the economy and societies and we grasp the potential of the full deployment of even more powerful technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). We have seen many examples of how AI is being used to address the COVID-19 pandemic, from tracking the disease to helping to developing vaccines.
However, the deployment of these technologies and the transitions that they bring may create winners and losers. There are grave concerns about the impact on jobs and inequality. There are also concerns that the uneven technological capacities in AI would increase the technological and economic gaps between developed and developing countries. Other major concerns nowadays are related to the biased design and unintended consequences of AI, which can arise in several situations such as the employment biased algorithms or the use of biased data for training.