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UN Appoints Pakistani Digital Rights Activist Nighat Dad to AI Advisory Board

Nighat Dad, the executive director of Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), has been selected by the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to join his high-level advisory board on Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with other eminent experts from around the world.

The announcement was made by the UN Pakistan on X, congratulating Dad for her achievement. The advisory board will support the international community’s efforts to govern AI and address its opportunities and challenges.

The board will focus on three main areas: international governance of AI, generative AI, and shared understanding of risks and challenges associated with the deployment of these technologies. The board will also explore ways to leverage AI to accelerate the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dad expressed her honour and excitement to serve on the board and bring a global majority world perspective to the discussions. She emphasized the importance of recognizing the potential human rights issues that may affect marginalized communities worldwide as we embrace new technologies.

“My goal is to address real-time threats and vulnerabilities faced by these communities and shed light on emerging problems through an intersectional lens while considering global AI governance,” she said.

Dad is a renowned digital rights activist and lawyer who founded DRF in 2012. DRF is a research-based NGO that focuses on ICTs to support human rights, inclusiveness, democratic processes, and digital governance. DRF works on issues of online free speech, privacy, data protection, and online violence against women.

Dad is also a member of the Facebook Oversight Board, which reviews content moderation decisions made by the social media giant. She has received several awards and recognition for her work, including the Atlantic Council Digital Freedom Award, the Human Rights Tulip Award, and the TIME Next Generation Leaders list.

Dad is the first Pakistani to join the UN high-level advisory board on AI, which consists of 39 distinguished individuals from academia, civil society, government, industry, and international organizations. The board will provide interim recommendations by the end of the year and will meet regularly to advise the UN Secretary General on AI-related matters.

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