This article was published by The Future Society in Special Projects, The AI Initiative on February 10, 2019

Global Governance of AI Forum (GGAF)

Main insight

AI technologies are evolving rapidly across sectors, ushering in enormous potential for good but also the risks to fundamental human values, including human dignity and privacy.

Special ProjectsThe AI Initiative
February 10, 2019
5 min read

Held yearly in Dubai on the occasion of the World Government Summit (WGS) under the aegis of the UAE State Minister for AI, the Global Governance of AI Forum (GGAF) is a revolving international multi-stakeholder governance process that brings together a diverse community of 250 global experts and practitioners from government, business, academia, international organizations, and civil society.

The Global Governance of AI Forum (GGAF) has been envisioned and designed as a unique collective intelligence exercise to help shape and deploy global, but culturally adaptable, norms for the governance of artificial intelligence. Building upon the first edition of held in February 2018, the 2019 edition began in August with an intensive six-months preparation and curation period. The community of participants was brought together through regular video conferences with the objective of shaping the 2019 agenda and driving the research effort managed in parallel by our team of AI Policy Researchers. This led to the publication of 14 background research papers on different topics ranging from agile governance, cybersecurity, geopolitics, explainability, international development, sustainability, and more. These research papers were informed by the organization of almost 90 expert calls, which also helped architect the agenda for a full-day Round-table workshop with 4 working sessions and 47 subcommittees. This combined community building, research, and agenda-setting effort were done in partnership with a host of prestigious international organizations including the OECD, UNESCO, IEEE, the Council on Extended Intelligence, and the Global Data Commons Task Force. After providing each partner-organization with a platform to meet and advance its own goals and initiatives on AI policy during two days ahead of the World Government Summit (WGS), the Global Governance of AI Forum culminated into a one-day big Roundtable Collective intelligence Workshop held on the first day of Summit. The Roundtable was designed as a prolongation of the collective intelligence effort initiated during preparation. It had no panels, no keynotes; only curated breakout sessions to maximize productivity and outcome. The insights and recommendations have been captured into a comprehensive report, which includes an action-oriented summary for policymakers – see The Report of the 2018 edition.

The Global Governance of AI Roundtable has three main objectives:

  1. Gather information about the state of AI technologies, their socio-economic impact and the state of AI governance policies around the world.
  2. Synthesize this information into a governance framework, actionable public policy options, and implementation-level guidelines that can be used by the UAE as a pioneer in the field of AI governance, and by other governments around the world.
  3. Serve as the world’s authoritative forum for dialogue on, and for the development of policies on AI governance.

Formulating a comprehensive knowledge base that can serve as the foundation for dialogue and decision-making, is key to develop a robust and effective governance framework and policy options. The Roundtable acknowledges that AI research, development, and adoption is unevenly distributed around the globe with considerable diversity and experimentation in the ways governments respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by AI.

AI technologies are evolving rapidly across sectors, ushering in enormous potential for good but also the risks to fundamental human values, including human dignity and privacy. A multi-stakeholder approach towards a governance framework is essential to facilitate a realization of the good that AI holds while mitigating its downside risks. The attempt to realize this mission began at the 2018 Roundtable discussions, which were synthesized into the “Summary Report – Dubai Global Governance of AI Roundtable”.

AI governance is complex, involving a range of stakeholders necessitating a methodical approach for ongoing learning, adaptation, and evidence-based decision-making for effective policies. This requires an annual convening establishing a continuous, broad, and inclusive dialogue defined by long-term objectives.

Cyrus Hodes being interviewed at the Global Governance for AI Forum.

2019 Collaborations & Partnerships  To generate high-level engagement GGAF has built relationships with key organisations, including governmental institutions, non-governmental organisations, and academic bodies all over the world.

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Ethics of AI
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to inspiring a global community to advance technology for the benefit of humanity. It is a key partner in organization the 2019 Roundtable, with their work being strongly incorporated in the “Ethically Aligned Design of AI 3.0” standards. IEEE senior leadership and committee chairs will play a crucial part in GGAR 2019. UNESCO seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences and culture. They have contributed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted during the UN General Assembly in 2015, as defined in Agenda 2030. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. It promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world while working with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change.

The Global Governance of AI Roundtable (GGAR) 2019 discussed the following topics:

  1. Mapping Current AI Technological Development & Future Trajectories
  2. The Geopolitics of AI
  3. Agile Governance: Multi-stakeholder Governance for Ethical and Safe AI
  4. Interpretable & Explainable AI: What, Why and How
  5. Governance of the Development of AGI
  6. Building Capability for ‘Smart’ Governance of Artificial Intelligence
  7. Governing AI Adoption in Developing Countries
  8. AI in the Judicial system, Access to justice, and the Practice of Law
  9. From a Data Common to an AI Commons
  10. IPAI: International Cooperation on the Global Governance of AI
  11. AI for SDGs
  12. Safe & Secure AI and Cybersecurity
  13. Managing the Economic & Social impact of the AI revolution
  14. Building Trust in AI & Role of AI Narratives

Global Governance of AI Roundtable website

GGAR 2018 Youtube video

Global Governance of AI Roundtable 2018 Summary Report