Report shows AI has a negative influence on UN peacekeeping

Flickr/ITU Pictures: AI for Good Global Summit
January 11, 2024

Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming told an informal gathering of some UN Security Council members and invited persons that “generative AI” leaves few fingerprints, which, according to a recent report, makes it more difficult for journalists, fact-checkers, law enforcement or even ordinary people to differentiate real from AI-generated content.

The report notes AI-powered disinformation is “already endangering UN peace and humanitarian operations, putting staff and civilians at risk.” Over 70% of UN peacekeepers responding to a recent survey said misinformation and disinformation “severely hampered” their ability to carry out their work.

In fact, in August 2023, the UN reported its then four African peacekeeping missions – MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MINUSCA in the Central African Republic, MINUSMA in Mali, and UNMISS in South Sudan – were actively preventing disinformation campaigns aimed at undermining mission credibility.

AI – unregulated – also poses a particular risk to women and children. According to the report, AI technology has been used to create and spread harmful content such as child sexual abuse material and non-consensual pornographic images targeting women and girls.

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