In 1988, the US and other nations formed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to study and respond to the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. On Thursday in Montreal, the governments of France and Canada said they will form a similar group to study the global changes brought on by artificial intelligence technology. They say the panel is needed to curb AI's unethical applications and to minimize the risk of economic disruption, such as job losses caused by automation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans with the French Minister for the International Board of Digital Artificial Intelligence, Mounir Mahjoubi. Trudeau has launched several programs in recent years to drive Canadian investment in AI, and he also wants to consider the potential disadvantages of the technology. "If Canada is to become a world leader in AI, we must also take the lead in resolving some of the ethical concerns that we will face in this area," said Trudeau.
In an interview, Mahjoubi said that talks were already taking place with other members of the Group of Seven, the club of the world's largest industrialized countries. He expressed confidence that members of the European Union outside the G7 would be interested in the jury.
Mahjoubi and Trudeau discussed their hopes for the jury at a G7 AI conference, at which scientists, officials and industry representatives were convened to discuss the opportunities and challenges created by the technology. Representatives of the USA were there. The White House science and technology policy bureau said in a statement last week that it hoped to use the event to "promote policies that sustain America's leadership in the AI, while maintaining civil liberties and privacy and the American values are respected. " 1
Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron first expressed their interest in creating an international forum for artificial intelligence research in June, but gave few details and left the initiative nameless.
"It is important that we have an international location where we can discuss all the implications of AI for the transformation of society."
Mounir Mahjoubi, French Minister for Digital Affairs
On Thursday, Mahjoubi said the IPAI will be guided by the IPCC, bringing together policy experts and researchers from the fields of the arts, humanities and social sciences. A proposed mandate from the Trudeau office indicates that the group would issue reports to guide the development of a policy Keep up to date with AI technology in the field of human rights and list areas where information on AI projects can be found and the impact of AI on human rights and whether people trust AI technology. The group will also discuss the military use of the AI.
Mahjoubi said it was possible that the IPAI would eventually issue rules or guidelines for the technology or policy of artificial intelligence, much as the IPCC studies have led to agreements to limit CO2 emissions. He emphasized, however, that the new panel should first examine the many technical and social challenges. "It is important that we have an international location where we can discuss all the impact of AI on the transformation of society," he said.
The prospect of a global body reviewing AI projects and their development may be unwelcome to companies that are on their way. Mahjoubi argued that the development of technology would be compromised if one ignores the disruptive potential of AI. "If you do not invest in the responsibility for AI, you create resistance and resentment among the population," Mahjoubi said. "Then it's slower."
Jean-François Gagné, CEO of Element AI, the startup in Montreal hosting the event on Thursday, agrees. He supports the IPAI project and even says that well-crafted rules or guidelines that restrict AI development in areas such as finance or healthcare can help young companies like his in the long term. "I even want that, even if you let it grow 20% faster in the short term, so we're not getting into a situation where people reject this technology," Gagné said. "Promoting innovation requires a secure and stable environment."
Some larger companies hoping to make a profit from AI seem to agree. Also on Thursday, Microsoft President Brad Smith called on governments to regulate facial recognition technology to avoid a "race to the bottom" leading to invasions of privacy and new forms of discrimination.
The Montreal G7 meeting was held during the world's leading leadership conference NeurIPS, a KI research conference attended by 8,600 experts from around the world, including numerous leading technology companies. Amazon, Microsoft and Google were among the companies represented at the G7 AI meeting.
Tabitha Goldstaub, chairman of the AI Council of the UK Government, said she hopes the G7 event and the future IPAI would help persuade countries not to see AI development as a race, with one or a few winners , "Co-operation between countries is crucial if we want to ensure that the technology AI enables compliance with existing human rights rules," she said. However, Gold Dust also acknowledged that the warm words and big plans in Montreal on Thursday does not mean much alone "It's really about action. Let's see what happens, "said Gold Dust.
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