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Film sector on the frontlines - UNESCO High-level discussion on AI in the audio-visual industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the cultural and creative industries in unprecedented ways and the change is here to stay. On October 19th, UNESCO led a global conversation on the impact of AI on the audio-visual sector. 

The meeting, in a hybrid format, brought together over a hundred people at UNESCO, including ambassadors, delegations, international organisations, National Commissions, NGOs and experts. Although brief in time, the meeting was dense nonetheless, thanks to good preparation and a fairly broad international panel including our colleague Rizwan Ahamd, Director of the IMC (Instructional Media Center - India) as Representative of CICT-ICFT.

Many concerns were expressed, particularly about the rapid development of AI, but some positive previews emerged as well. Two words that came up repeatedly were transparency and regulation. Transparency about the 'engine' of AI, including what 'feeds' the algorithms and how they work. The need for transparency has become a priority in all debates to protect creators. However, is it realistic to imagine being able to access the methods of "AI manufacturers", or even to be involved in their creation? As for the need for regulation, this seemed to be shared by all, and it is hoped that regulation will be introduced on a global scale, while being aware that progress is very heterogeneous across the world, between regions that still have poor access to the Internet (currently 3.6 billion people are not connected) and those that are very advanced in technological developments and digital coverage.


The meeting therefore "set the scene" and raised some very important issues that now need to be looked at in greater depth - and quickly. This is UNESCO's objective with the approach taken, and it should be emphasised that cross-sectoral, cross-functional work needs to be carried out.

For more information regarding the high-level discussion, visit UNESCO Official website



CICT-ICFT has sent UNESCO an extract from the Final Declaration on AI of the 25th Euromediterranean Conference on Cinema, whose excerpt is available here below

(for full text, click here): 


 “Platforms and AI: the rise of global cinema?"

"[...] 2. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence has raised some concerns and expectations. If used appropriately and with respect for creative professionals, Artificial Intelligence tools can bring significant benefits to the cinema, audiovisual, and arts industries. On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence could lead to the disappearance of creative works and cause further concentration ofthe supply chain of films.

  • Artificial intelligence and its constituent algorithm raise hopes and threats because of its hidden mechanisms, owned with private rather than social purposes.

  • The effort of regulation activated by the European Parliament should be reinforced, treating the algorithm, at the origin of any Artificial Intelligence, exactly as an intellectual work, enabling the identification of each author who must be licensed by a professional ad-hoc register to be officially established. Such instrument will allow the monitoring of the activity and prevent any negative socio-economic effects on the web, instead of what is happening now.

  • Consequently UNESCO, under the realm of the United Nations, shall define such regulatory framework addressing:

  1. Respect for the uniqueness of artistic creation and the irrepressibility of the artist as a physical person.

  2. Fair remuneration and respect for the author's rights.

  3. Prohibition of attributing the intellectual property of a work produced by machines to the owner of those machines.

  4. Redefinition of the “public domain” concept.


The conference poster in the main hall of UNESCO; the panellists on stage
CICT-IFCT delegation with, from left to right, Rizwan AHAMD, Georges DUPONT, Serge MICHEL and Xueyuan HUN
Statement by CICT ICFT Representative, Mr Rizwan Ahamd, Director of the IMC (Instructional Media Center - India)
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