University of Montreal professor Yoshua Bengio will be part of a new scientific advisory council on technological advances, the creation of which was announced Thursday by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Bengio, founder and scientific director of Mila, the Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence, will be one of several academic members from various countries.

Guterres said he believes the new council will strengthen the role of the United Nations "as a trusted source of data and evidence." He said the group will provide guidance to himself and his leadership team.

 "Advances in science and technology can support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals -- but they also raise ethical, legal and political concerns that require multilateral solutions," the secretary-general said in a statement.

Bengio is quoted in the statement saying the council underscores "the UN leadership's unwavering commitment to the principles of the scientific method."

The artificial intelligence expert says he looks forward to supporting the secretary-general "to raise the voice of science-based policy and decision-making."

According to Ismahane Elouafi, chief scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the council will play "a crucial role in resolving the complex moral, social and political dilemmas presented by rapid advances in science and technology."

The council's primary focus will be to provide independent insights into trends at the intersection of science, technology, ethics, governance and sustainability.

-This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 3, 2023.