The World Economic Forum has held its AI Governance Summit, bringing together government, business, academia, and civil society representatives. The participants discussed the wide range of opportunities that AI is bringing to our lives while stressing the importance of solid regulatory frameworks to mitigate the risks involved in generative AI technologies.
Almost a year ago, OpenAI, an AI research company, launched ChatGPT. In just five days after launching on November 30, 2022, the number of users of this generative AI platform reached 1 million, and today the platform claims to have 180 million users. However, the unprecedented surge in the number of users has also triggered certain questions. While it promises to boost productivity and efficiency, AI platforms also clearly involve security-related risks. Therefore, the regulatory aspect of generative AI has become a top priority for policymakers, experts, researchers, and civil society.
From November 13th to 15th 2023, the World Economic Forum organized its AI Governance Summit in San Francisco, bringing together 200 leaders from the AI community and the Forum’s AI Governance Alliance (AIGA) to discuss AI governance agendas for both the private and public sectors. The summit aimed to serve as a platform to allow policymakers and researchers to delve deeper into the social and economic implications of generative AI technologies.
Overall, the participants stressed the importance of establishing an international AI governance framework, highlighting how imperative it is to close the digital gap and consider trade-offs in open-source technologies. On the other hand, government, business, academia, and civil society representatives underlined the immense opportunities related to the integration of AI across diverse sectors such as agriculture and healthcare.
At the same time, the summit’s participants sent a bold message that everything possible must be done to ensure that AI-related developments align with global ethical standards and to reduce the risks that AI poses to societies and businesses. The discussions during the summit therefore focused on adaptive AI regulatory frameworks and harmonized standards.
For the most part, the discussions during the summit did not concentrate on technologically advanced countries and instead, the participants emphasized the importance of implementing strategies to ensure that developing and least developed countries will also be able to harness the benefits of AI technologies. The participants called for an increase in access to critical infrastructure such as data, cloud, and computing, accompanied by better training and education.
To summarize, the summit conveyed the following bold messages:
- Acknowledge open source and innovation debate centers to handle an increased inspection of foundation model releases. This includes addressing doubts about AI-related risks, transparency, and governance. It also involves clear definitions and careful consideration of the pros and cons of the safety and innovation of cutting-edge models.
- Private-public relationships should increase and global access to important digital and AI resources should be promoted.
- To target the digital gap and make sure AI benefits are for everyone, recognize the importance of access to data, cloud services, computing power, and training infrastructures.
- Finally, move forward with global AI governance by implementing adaptive regulations and harmonized standards while at the same time continuing discussions to ensure effective international mechanisms.
Founded in 1971, the World Economic Forum engages political, business, academic, and other leaders to address global issues. The WEF is also well-known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos where world leaders gather to discuss emerging topics. Last year, the WEF organized its first Global Responsible AI Summit where AI thought leaders tackled topics regarding fast-developing AI technologies. Following the successful launch of the summit, this year the WEF organized the AI Governance Summit that delved deeper into topics related to generative AI.