Skip to content

Main Insight

The Future Society joined International IDEA and European Commission to launch a discussion on AI and democracies.

Roundtable on AI and Democratic Development

December 11, 2019

BRUSSELS, Belgium – On 11 December 2019, The Future Society participated in a pioneering roundtable on AI and mapping  priority areas for EU assistance to democratic development.

International IDEA and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DG DEVCO) hosted a high-level roundtable in Brussels on 11 December 2019, to launch a powerful discussion on the impact of AI on democracy. More than 50 participants from EU institutions, universities, think thanks, and democracy-support organizations came together to develop a better understanding of the role that AI is playing in democracies and how the EU could harness its potential and mitigate the risks it presents through its development policy and programming.

Senior AI Policy Researcher, Niki Iliadis, was invited to join the roundtable to speak on the need for a global dialogue on the ethics of AI. The panel include a lively discussion between Juha Heikkilä (Head of Unit Robotics and AI, DG CNECT – European Commission), Louisa Klingvall (Policy Officer – Fundamental Rights Policy Unit, DG JUST, European Commission), Judith Orland (Programme Manager Good Governance, DG Democracy, Council of Europe), and Robert Krimmer (Professor of e-Governance and head of the DigiGovLab, Tallinn University of Technology and UNESCO-UNDP taskforce for “Elections & Internet, Social Messaging and AI”).

Niki made the case for an open dialogue on AI ethics and the urgency to build AI literacy worldwide. She contributed with three key arguments.

  • AI impacts (will impact) all sectors of life and all people. Hence, it is essential to involve as many citizens as possible if we want to move towards the responsible adoption of AI.
  • Beyond the number, there is the epistemic quality of a diversified and complex participation. The greater the diversity of participants, the deeper the recommendations will be since we will be able to have a more nuanced and representative panorama of reality. 
  • To move from principles to practice, individuals must be involved in the process. Individuals can help push their governments to follow these principles and they can also help push corporations to follow them.

Related resources

Join us for the fourth edition of The Athens Roundtable on AI and the Rule of Law

Join us for the fourth edition of The Athens Roundtable on AI and the Rule of Law

The fourth edition of The Athens Roundtable on AI and the Rule of Law will take place December 1-2, 2022.

2021 Edition of the Athens Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law

2021 Edition of the Athens Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law

An international, cross-organizational dialogue on how to uphold the rule of law in the age of AI.

Progress with GPAI AI & Pandemic Response Subgroup at Paris Summit 2021

Progress with GPAI AI & Pandemic Response Subgroup at Paris Summit 2021

On November 12th, 2021, an update on our work on the 'AI-Powered Immediate Response to Pandemics' project was presented at the GPAI Paris Summit 2021.

The Athens Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law 2020 Report

The Athens Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and the Rule of Law 2020 Report

The two-day roundtable, hosted virtually from New York City, welcomed back many of the first edition’s participants to create continuity in purpose, but also expanded participation to the Global South, with the support of UNESCO. Approximately 1,000 attendees joined the gathering.

AI & Education: an online workshop for UNESCO’s Recommendations on the Ethics of AI

AI & Education: an online workshop for UNESCO’s Recommendations on the Ethics of AI

The Future Society organised an online deliberative workshop around the topic of AI & Education. It used this theme to gather citizens' perspectives on some of UNESCO’s recommendations on the ethics of AI.

Global Webinar on AI and Education: Best Practices and Policy Recommendations

Global Webinar on AI and Education: Best Practices and Policy Recommendations

The Future Society - in collaboration with ICESCO, Mila, and Algora Lab - co-organized a timely online discussion on AI's impact on education.