This article was published by The Future Society in Special Projects on March 17, 2020

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The AI Civic Forum: Empowering people to shape the future of AI

Main insight

The AI Civic Forum (AICF) is a multi-stakeholder platform to proactively engage people around the world in discussions on AI ethics and governance. Anchored in a robust collective intelligence process, the objectives are delivered through four key deliverables: face-to-face deliberations; an online platform; an AI Literacy Toolkit and a Trainer-the-trainer Playbook. The AI Civic Forum is co-led by The Future Society, AlgoraLab and Mila.

Special Projects
March 17, 2020
2 min read

Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of the most powerful socio-technical phenomena, will ultimately impact the lives of all citizens around the world. Its rise calls for new frameworks for digital governance, in which people are empowered through multi-stakeholder, collaborative, and transparent decision-making. However, deliberations on AI ethics and governance so far have remained in the realm of experts.

The Montreal Declaration for Responsible Development of AI and The Future Society’s Global Civic Debate are pioneering initiatives that used civic deliberations to develop guidelines for the ethical development and deployment of AI. Now the institutions behind these two initiatives are partnering to launch the AI Civic Forum: to ensure a global conversation on AI ethics and governance, and build shared ethical principles and practices.

Deliberation hold during the Montreal Declaration for Responsible AI.

The AI Civic Forum aims to bring together diverse communities of citizens, policymakers, academics, experts, private sector representatives and other key stakeholders to deliberate on the ethical design, deployment, and governance of AI.

Anchored in robust collective intelligence methodologies, the AI Civic Forum designs and manages civic debates combining four key deliverables: 

  • ‘Face-to-face Deliberations’ – a series of design thinking workshops to engage citizens and bring together diverse voices to deliberate on AI ethics, using specific use cases and scenarios.
  • An ‘Online Platform’ – a consultative process to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and have open access to educational material on AI ethics. 
  • An ‘AI Literacy Toolkit’ – an interactive book with use cases, short narratives, and comic illustrations  to raise awareness of AI and its ethical implications.
  • A ‘Train-the trainer Playbook’ – a short curriculum to empower local ambassadors to support the facilitation of deliberations. 

Through high-impact consultations, the AI Civic Forum will directly feed national and international organizations’ efforts to develop shared principles and practices in the field of AI. The first consultation will be undertaken in partnership with UNESCO to support its ongoing standard-setting instrument for ethical AI. 

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