Emerging Technologies

Leveraging new technologies is essential to developing solutions that support the Secretary-General's strategies and the core work of the UN.

With the rapid developments in this field, the Emerging Technology Lab (ETL) of the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) investigates technologies and their possible applications could facilitate the core work the Secretariat, including achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

AI and the UN

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been one of the most significant emerging technologies in recent years. ETL actively explores and applies various forms of AI, such as machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing (NLP).

Recent examples:

  • Conversational AI - ETL recently launched Alba, the UN Chatbot;
  • Machine learning for automatic document classification (for UNIDSR);
  • NLP for automatic (extractive) text summarization;
  • Computer vision for image recognition, video analysis and facial recognition; and
  • NLP and deep learning for humanitarian project proposal assessments (for OCHA)

 

Partnerships

The UN Emerging Tech Lab is comprised of a small core team of talented and motivated people. To stay abreast of such a wide range of fast-evolving technologies and the myriad of possible applications, we actively pursue research partnerships with private sector labs, academic institutions, and individual experts in key fields. To get in touch with us about technology research partnerships, email us at ai@un.org.

 

More future technologies

In addition to AI, ETL has explored other innovative technologies such as blockchain (DLT), the Internet of Things (IoT), computer simulation, and semantic networks. We keep adding to the UN’s toolkit.