IGF 2019 WS #147 Defining a European Third Way for AI

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Cathleen Berger, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Leonie Beining, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Peter Bihr, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

This workshop touches on a range of policy questions, including but not limited to
Users rights and responsibilities: What are/should be the rights and responsibilities for individuals in determining the use of their personal data, and what right do individuals have to determine their own digital identity?
-- Ethical, legal and regulatory dimensions for new technologies: What is the relationship between ethical considerations and legal and regulatory frameworks in data driven technologies? And which is the better approach for approaching and resolving issues related to the use of data in emerging technologies? What societal and economic benefits are enabled by the trustworthy use of data to develop new technologies, e.g. through machine learning and the development of AI? How should these benefits be weighed against the need to protect fundamental rights? To what extent can the development of international norms and principles facilitate common approaches and interoperability of data protection frameworks, and also facilitate international trade and cooperation?
-- Algorithms and accountability: To what extent, and how, should accountability, fairness, explainability, suitability and representativity apply to the use of data and and algorithms, and how can governance frameworks address these issues in a way that enhances increases inclusion?

Relevance to Theme: We’ve seen a hugely promising boom in the capability of so-called artificial intelligence (AI) technologies (esp. machine learning and neural networks), but at the same time we’re seeing new issues emerge at the intersection of AI/machine decision making and the complex systems that make up society. These issues include biased training data sets, black box algorithms, limited understanding of machine decision making and unanticipated consequences, lack of accountability and transparency, and overall a lack of democratic oversight in the deployment and use of AI systems across all levels of society, but especially where vulnerable communities are involved.
The two undisputed “leaders” in AI research globally are currently Silicon Valley and China. More recently, the European discourse about AI has started to coalesce around a European approach — let’s call it a European Third Way — for AI that is based on oversight, accountability and “European values”. However, what this means concretely has so far been ill-defined.
We propose to gather at IGF and take a stab at trying to make sense of this narrative, and see if such a European Third Way a) exists, b) is useful and possible to define, and c) would be meaningful and helpful beyond Europe as an alternative approach to the Silicon Valley and China narratives.

Relevance to Internet Governance: "Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet."


Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min

Description: We propose to provide the key findings of a research project we will have largely concluded by then that can provide a basis for discussion, followed by a panel discussion of the session topic, namely if and under what circumstances we can define a European “Third Way” for AI as an alternative to the Silicon Valley and the Chinese approaches to AI. We will furthermore aim to agree on a rough outline of a definition.

Expected Outcomes: We aim to provide a better informed starting point for a larger debate, and to arrive at a 1-paragraph outline of a definition of what would make a European Third Way for AI that can serve as a starting point towards an ongoing dialog to inform policy makers and further governance proceedings around AI.

Discussion Facilitation: 

We’re seasoned event and discussion facilitators, invited knowledgeable panelists with interesting global perspectives, and will incorporate input and questions from other attendants and participants.

Online Participation: 

We're aware the tools are offered, but not familiar with the tools. We'll use them as advised.

Proposed Additional Tools: Twitter.


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