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ICEGOV 2023 – Roundtable Session 3

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 | 14:00 - 16:00 | UFMG, Room Amazonas


AI capacity needs in cities: insights for strengthening local governments' AI governance

As cities continue to embrace advanced digital technologies, AI's potential risks and ethical concerns are becoming increasingly evident. Despite the numerous benefits, AI also brings challenges, as potential bias and discrimination, privacy violations, and other human rights violations. As AI transforms urban settings at an unprecedented pace, the local government's role and capacity to utilize AI while mitigating these risks are increasingly critical. At ICEGOV 2023, UN-Habitat presents the findings of a global survey launched to better understand the needs of local governments in relation to artificial intelligence (AI). The survey aimed at identifying capacity and governance gaps, as well as opportunities for standardization, cooperation, and multi-stakeholder governance in cities related to the responsible use of AI. The initiative is carried out collaboration with UNU-EGOV, a policy-oriented think tank dedicated to electronic governance, and with the support of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The survey provides valuable insights into the needs and capacities of cities to use AI responsibly. The results helps the UN and other organizations to understand local government priorities and AI capacity needs in addition to informing the development of technical guidelines on how to use, implement, and govern AI in local government contexts

Objectives for the participants

  • What are the current gaps and needs of cities to use AI as a means to improve public services (e.g., urban basic services, infrastructure, housing, human livelihoods, health and education, etc.) and ultimately improve living and working conditions of all;
  • What are the current capacity gaps in governance structures and mechanisms to address AI related challenges and ethical, human rights and inclusion implications?
  • What are the opportunities for standardization, cooperation, and multi-stakeholder governance to ensure responsible use of AI in cities? Are new inter-city partnerships and platforms necessary given AI cuts across geographical place and governance boundaries?
  • How local governments and stakeholders can cooperate to implement recommendations from the survey.


Aline Macohin
Federal University of Paraná - UFPR
Antonio Neto
Institute of Research and Urban Planning of Maceió
Davi Rossiter
Institute of Research and Urban Planning of Maceió
Jean Mattos Duarte
Soumaya Ben Dhaou
United Nations University (UNU-EGOV)