Consultant

OVERVIEW

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: The Project Consultant may work remotely, travelling to UNESCO and agreed locations when their presence is required by the project.

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 20-APR-2024 (Extended)

 

 

 

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

 

 

BACKGROUND

The goal of this project is to advance the implementation of UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of AI and to empower stakeholders to make evidence-informed choices on AI governance. The project pursues this aim by conducting Readiness Assessments in the target countries. It also invests in knowledge products that will further reinforce capacity-building efforts on the ground and empower stakeholders to make evidence-informed choices on AI regulation.  

 

In November 2021, 193 Member States of UNESCO adopted the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (the Recommendation). This global standard aims to leverage the positive impacts of AI while addressing its inherent risks. Countries around the world are now in the process of implementing the Recommendation, with UNESCO supporting them through various capacity-building efforts. UNESCO is partnering with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation on the Promoting Ethical Governance of AI for Greater Impact project, to scale up impact already made through UNESCO’s ongoing efforts and advance an ethical framework for AI governance based on the Recommendation. 

 

The UNESCO Recommendation stresses that AI actors should promote social justice and safeguard fairness and non-discrimination of any kind in compliance with international law. This implies an inclusive approach to ensuring that the benefits of AI technologies are available and accessible to all, taking into consideration the specific needs of different age groups, cultural systems, different language groups, persons with disabilities, girls and women, and disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable people or people in vulnerable situations. Specifically in regard to policy action on gender equality, the Recommendation calls for ensuring that the potential for artificial intelligence to contribute to achieving gender equality is fully maximized, and that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of girls and women, and their safety and integrity are not violated at any stage of the AI system life cycle. 

 

To operationalize the principle of fairness and non-discrimination, and to help policymakers translate gender policy prescriptions of the Recommendation into concrete action, the project will produce a special report on AI and Inequalities, informing the governance landscape specifically from this perspective. The intention is to transform this report into annual outlook series with a focus on alternative topics of equity and non-discrimination, to be produced beyond the timeframe of this project.  

 

The Consultant will work under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), and under the direct supervision of the Head of Ethics of AI Unit at UNESCO Headquarters.

SCOPE OF WORK

The aim of the consultancy is to produce a special report on AI and Inequalities.  

Activities: 

  • In collaboration with the leading institutions and networks partnering with UNESCO on the implementation of the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI (Alan Turing Institute, Reuters Foundation, Women for Ethics of AI platform), identifying research design and methodology for the production of the special report on AI and Inequalities. 
  • Conducting research using cutting edge methodological approaches and drafting the report with a special emphasis on actionable policy recommendations.  

a. Report on AI and Inequalities: 

The report on AI and inequalities should expand on the deliverable a, and aim to operationalize the principle of fairness and non-discrimination of the Recommendation, and in particular help policymakers translate the gender policy action area of the Recommendation into concrete action.  

Activities include: identifying research design and methodology, conducting research using suitable methodological approaches, drafting the report with a special emphasis on actionable policy recommendations, and translating findings into the Global Observatory on the Ethics of AI. In this regard, the Consultant should also work in close coordination with the Women 4 Ethics of AI platform.  

 

b. Contributing to the ongoing work of the secretariat on AI ethics:  

Identifying synergies between this project and other projects on AI ethics that the secretariat is conducting around the world, including on capacity building for AI governance for different governments. The goal is to enrich and cross fertilize the overall work.   
Activities include: contributing to ongoing research and analysis conducted by the secretariat; participating in meetin
gs; presenting the work to different stakeholders; supporting the secretariat with the preparation of different materials such as speeches, presentations, blogs, white papers etc.   

Deliverables and timeframe: 

Delivering monthly progress reports for activity (a).
Delivering an intermediary report for activity (a). 
Delivering five blogposts on the topics related to activity (a).
Delivering a final report for activity (a).

 

The duration of the contract is 10 months (until 28 February 2025) 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

 

Education

  • Advanced university degree (PhD preferred, Master’s or equivalent required) in governance of artificial intelligence, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence or digital technologies, law and technology, computer science, data science, computational social science, or other related fields. A PhD can count as work experience.

 

Work experience

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies, at national and/or international level. A PhD can count as work experience.

  • Proven experience in conducting research and analysis and/or implementing programmes/projects on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies. Experience in producing policy-oriented reports or recommendations is strongly desirable. 

Skills/Competencies

  • Very good understanding of the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies. 

  • Excellent knowledge about the dynamics of governance of AI, including policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks, institutional mechanisms, organizational structures and processes, and initiatives by different stakeholders in this field. This includes broad familiarity with UNESCO’s AI Readiness Assessment Methodology and the ability to translate lessons learned and good practices into practical guidance for policymakers. 

  • Proven ability to draft clearly and concisely and to produce high quality policy-oriented analysis and synthesis documents. 

  • Proven ability to lead and manage projects, coordinate with teams, and work on multiple interrelated outputs. 

 

Languages

  • Excellent knowledge of English. Other language skills are an advantage

APPLICATION

Interested candidates should click on “Apply Now”, then download and complete the Employment History form (Word file). At the end of the Word file, insert extra pages with the following required information: 

  • A one-page statement laying out how their qualifications and experience make them suitable for the assignment, and explaining how they would approach the work; 

  • The salary expectations for the assignment, which should be quoted in US dollars on a monthly basis for a 10-month period (full-time working). 

Upon completing the Word file with all the requested information above, upload the file at the “My Employment History Form / My Documents” section of the online application form. Only applications with the above requested information will be considered. 

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UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.