The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its progressively wider impact on many sectors requires an assessment of its effect on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using a consensus-based expert elicitation process, we find that AI can enable the accomplishment of 134 targets across all the goals, but it may also inhibit 59 targets. However, current research foci overlook important aspects. The fast development of AI needs to be supported by the necessary regulatory insight and oversight for AI-based technologies to enable sustainable development. Failure to do so could result in gaps in transparency, safety, and ethical standards.