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UNESCO’s mandate to build inclusive knowledge societies is centered on its efforts to promote freedom of expression and access to information, alongside quality edu-cation and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. The digital transformation un-derway in society is touching all spheres of human activity, and it is timely to reflect on the key challenges and opportunities created by digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).The title of this publication is a call for ‘Steering AI and Advanced ICTs for Knowledge Societies’ from the perspective of human Rights, Openness, Access and Mul-ti-stakeholder governance (the ROAM principles). Such steering should also sup-port gender equality and Africa, the two global priorities of UNESCO. Technological change and advancement is important for sustainable development, yet belief in technological determinism risks neglecting social, economic and other drivers. Ins-tead, the challenge is to harness human agency to shape the trajectory of AI and related information and communication technologies (ICTs).While there is no single definition of ‘artificial intelligence’, this publication focuses on what UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Tech-nology (COMEST) describes as “machines capable of imitating certain functionalities of human intelligence, including such features as perception, learning, reasoning, problem solving, language interaction, and even producing creative work” (COMEST, 2019). AI and its constitutive elements of data, algorithms, hardware, connectivity and sto-rage exponentially increase the power of ICT. This is a major opportunity for sustai-nable development, with concomitant risks that also need to be addressed. To steer AI accordingly, we need to recognize the uneven but dynamic distribution of AI power across multiple and dispersed centres within governments, the private sector, the technical community, civil society and other stakeholders worldwide. It is for this rea-son that multi-stakeholder engagement around AI is vital. This perspective aligns with the approach to ICT governance as per the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) principles and processes that are led by the United Nations (UN).Using the Internet Universality framework and indicators,1 this publication explores the multiple implications for AI and how the ROAM principles can steer the develop-ment and usage of AI from the following dimensions:1 More information on the Internet Universality Indicators is available at: SUMMARY

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Publicado en Prospectiva CTI