Emerging Technologies

Leveraging new technologies is essential to developing solutions that will facilitate the core work of the UN, and it supports the Secretary-General's Strategy on New Technologies

With the rapid growth of technologies, the Emerging Technologies Team (ETT) of the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) investigates technologies and their possible applications for the benefit of the Secretariat and the Sustainable Development Goals.

AI and the UN

Artificial Intelligence (AI) emphasizes intelligence by machine that mimics cognitive human functions such as learning and problem solving. The ETT focuses on AI and its sub domains such as Machine Learning (Supervised / Unsupervised) and Natural Language Processing.

AI is the combination of intelligence and creativity that enables advanced and broad-spectrum application. For example, AI assists ETT projects using its autonomous system that eliminates the necessity for humans to perform tedious tasks.

The ETT has built various prototypes using Machine Learning (Supervised/Unsupervised) and Natural Language Processing understanding subdomains of AI:

  • Unite Cognition Extractive Text Classification
  • Unite Cognition Answer Finder
  • Unite BOT (Conversational AI)
  • Unite Cognition Auto Translation
  • Unite Cognition Extractive Text Summarization
  • Unite Cognition Extractive Video Summarization


Computer Vision

Computer Vision (CV), a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence, manages how computers can be made to gain understanding from digital images or videos just like how human visual system can do.

The ETT applies CV techniques to help better understand environments and situations while also exposing data in unique ways.

The team has built various prototypes of Computer Vision:

  • Low Connectivity Asset Tracking
  • Unite Cognition Extractive Video Summarization
  • Object / Face Recognition (OR/FR)


Distributed Ledger Technology

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a peer-to-peer network of interaction and transaction that are replicated and distributed amongst many participants. There is no centralized administrator or data storage controlling of all the transactions. Blockchain is the most widely known implementation of DLT, can also be termed as a distributed database of records.

The ETT has built various prototypes implementing DLT:

  • Low Connectivity Asset Tracking;
  • Unite Token (Cryptocurrency).


Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.

The ETT is currently developing solutions that use IoT:

  • Low Connectivity Asset Tracking
  • Unite Cognition Smart Cities