Thanks to its foresight and generosity, the City of Prague will host the 1st International Congress for the Governance of AI (ICGAI), in partnership with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the World Technology Network, among others. ICGAI will bring together representatives of governments, industry, international organizations, universities, research centers, leaders of underserved nations and communities, and other stakeholders in the AI space.
ICGAI is a collaborative initiative directed at establishing an agile and comprehensive governance framework for artificial intelligence. A list of Organizers, Co-Chairs, and Advisors can be found here.
Balancing the need for innovation, competition and cooperation, while minimizing risks and undesirable societal consequences poses a daunting international challenge. The framework that we will develop together in April must accommodate input from the various stakeholders, function as a trusted good-faith broker, monitor developments, flag concerns and explore creative means to manage issues through engineering, ethics, and/or oversight. Any new international governance mechanism established is unlikely to have enforcement authority. Nevertheless, it can facilitate cooperation and light coordination between the many stakeholders in the AI space.
Various national and international bodies including the UN, OECD, the EU, the World Economic Forum, IEEE, ISO, PAI and other industry initiated consortia, research centers, and civil society have begun working on standards and best practices. Indeed, more than 50 overlapping lists (as of this writing) of principles to direct the development of AI have been published. To date, no mechanisms exist to lightly coordinate and share the activities of all the various stakeholders, nor any simple way to reduce redundancies in the effort, debate conflicting proposals and, ultimately, safeguard the public interest. ICGAI has been created as a forum for cross-regional discussions and cross-pollination that balances competition with a focus upon means to humanize AI for the greater good.
It would be naive to assume the international community can achieve consensus on all issues. Nevertheless, shared values can be underscored, best practices highlighted, and differences debated. The process leading to the first ICGAI is an important step along the way.
Expert workshops in preparation for the Congress in Prague are being convened between January and March 2020, in key locations around the world. The expert participants will share their insights and together formulate preliminary proposals for the assembled Congress to consider.
Topics for the Pre-Event Planning Workshops (and “tracks” at the Congress)
Agile, Cooperative and Comprehensive International Governance Mechanisms
Hard Law and Soft Law in the Governance of AI
AI and International Security
Minimizing and Managing System Failures
Corporate Self-Governance and Accountability
Inclusion, just transformation of work and society, and addressing the needs of small nations and underserved communities
At the Congress in Prague, the proposals developed in these workshops will be discussed and refined by those in attendance. Informal soundings will be taken at ICGAI to determine whether a firm consensus exists to move forward on any of these proposals. ICGAI is being created as an ongoing catalytic forum. The first large-scale, global event in Prague, important as it is, is just the beginning.
We look forward to making history together with you in Prague this April.