The AI Initiative

The AI Initiative is dedicated to shaping the global policy framework to govern the rise of Artificial Intelligence, addressing holistically short-, mid- and long-term governance challenges.

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Activities

The AI Initiative is active across all the programmatic pillars of The Future Society: Policy Research & Advisory Services, Seminars & Summits, Educational Programs & Leadership Development, and Special Projects. It aims to collaborate toward a set of global agreements on beneficial safeguards, standards, guidelines, norms and policy playbooks for Artificial Intelligence. We collaborate with policymakers from all branches of governments around the globe, as well as a vast range of stakeholders (entrepreneurs, international organizations, industry, and civil society).

The AI Initiative has designed and organized the “Global Governance of AI Forum” (GGAF) in Dubai during the World Government Summit under the aegis of H.E. Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the United Arab Emirates’ State Minister for Artificial Intelligence. GGAF is an international multistakeholder governance process that brings together a diverse community of 250 global experts and practitioners from government, business, academia, international organizations, and civil society. The forum has been envisioned and designed as a unique collective intelligence exercise to discuss and help shape global, but culturally adaptable, norms for the governance of Artificial Intelligence.

The AI Initiative is also active in several leading ethics and governance of AI forums, including the OECD High Level Expert Group on AI & Society, the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethically Aligned of autonomous and AI systems, the Council on Extended Intelligence, and the UN Global Science-Business-Policy Forum on the Environment for instance.

Recommendations

Improvements and convergences in machine learning and neurosciences combined with the availability of massive datasets and the ubiquity of high-performance scalable computing are propelling us into a new age of Artificial Intelligence. The promise these developments hold is immense; and so are the risks.

These challenges require both immediate and future action. Computing systems are already outperforming humans in many tasks that profoundly shape our daily lives in the fields of transportation, communication, manufacturing, energy, finance, healthcare as well as defense and security. There are clear upsides and opportunities, but the unintended socio-political consequences are serious, disrupting the fabric of our social contracts, our sense of human identity and dignity, and our considerations of agency and personal empowerment. Also visible on the horizon is the existential challenge posed by the possible emergence within this century of superintelligent machines, which would be vastly superior in scale and speed to a human brain.

While experts differ in their predictions as to the likelihood of this development, the velocity, complexity and magnitude of the current global race for Artificial Intelligence necessitates that decision-makers begin developing a coherent and actionable response. Underestimating the impact of Artificial Intelligence in the short, mid and long term is unwise and potentially dangerous.

Governments & Policymakers

Because of its key role in enabling societal transformation using technological innovation, Silicon Valley is often believed to be the principal source of techno-scientific revolutions. Policymakers seem left behind corporations which increasingly set trends and rules. However, governments have historically played and will continue to play a key role in spurring the rise of Artificial Intelligence through the allocation of Research & Development budgets for defense, security, healthcare, science and technology, infrastructure; through pro-innovation policies and through regulation of uses and applications.

The existing processes and tools of modern deliberation and international cooperation need to be leveraged. However, they may not be sufficient to help humanity drive the transformation in front of us. Growing our collective wisdom to confront the rise of Artificial Intelligence will require inventing new governance frameworks, processes and tools. Humanity will need to rely on a mix of artificial and collective intelligence. The “global multi-stakeholder regime complex” currently emerging to govern cyberspace, climate change, trade & finance, and new forms of distributed autonomous organizations should serve as inspirations.

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