BPF Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Best Practice Forum on IoT, Big Data and AI

The 2019 Best Practice Forum IoT, Big Data, AI focusses on policy challenges pertaining to the use of IoT, Big Data, AI to address societal challenges that otherwise would be more difficult to address. 

The BPF is part of the 2019 intersessional work program of the IGF and started its discussions already well ahead of the Berlin meeting. The BPF published a draft report that will be further completed with input from the BPF workshop at the IGF2019 meeting in Berlin.  (see below for more details on the report and how to provide feedback).

The BPF session will cover the same questions as the report:

  1. Introduction and background on the BPF process
  2. Opportunities:  IoT, Big Data, AI to address societal challenges
  3. Policy Challenges:
    1. Enhancing justified trust in IoT, Big Data, AI to stimulate their use to address societal challenges
    2. Stimulating the use and uptake of IoT, Big Data, AI to address societal challenges
    3. Challenges related to the collection, management, and use of data by IoT, Big Data, AI applications
  4. Concluding remarks

The BPF builds on the  BPF 2018 that focussed on fostering the multistakeholder dialogue in field of IoT, Big Data, AI in an Internet context.


List of Speakers and their institutional affiliations:                                                          

Olivier Bringer, European Commission, Head of Unit -Next Generation Internet

Christine Tan, FIOT Open Lab, VP Business Development

David Salomão, INCM, Mozambique

Raymond Onuoha, Research ICT Africa / Regional Academic Network on IT Policy

Bruna Martins dos Santos, CodingRights, Policy Strategist

Emanuela Girardi, Pop AI, Member AI expert Group Ministry of Economic Development, Italy

Evelyne Tauchnitz, Research Associate at the Institute for Social Ethics, Lucerne & Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, Oxford          



Marco Zennaro (ICTP, Italy)


REVIEW the draft output report !

IGF2019 BPF IoT, Big Data, AI draft output


  • Review the report here (link BPF report)
  • Send your feedback to  [email protected]
  • Format: email, or word/pdf attached to an email
  • If your comment is on a specific section or paragraph, please indicate this clearly! 
  • Deadline: you can submit feedback on the draft document until the last day of the IGF2019 meeting. However, we would appreciate receiving your feedback before Friday 22 November, as this would allow us to take your comments into account during the BPF workshop in Berlin.
  • Received feedback will be posed on this page (unless the author indicates that he/she prefers the feedback is not published) and will feed into the final BPF output report.  
1. Key Policy Questions and Expectations

The first part of the session focused on opportunities for IoT, Big Data, AI to address societal challenges.

  1. Convergence of IoT, Big Data and AI has a huge potential to benefit society.
  2. There is need for improved outreach and digital literacy on IoT, AI and Big Data to gain traction as people fear what they do not understand.
  3. Collective intelligence is a promising area of research that can be exploited for the benefit of society.

The second part of the session dealt with policy challenges and best practices.

  1. Uptake and trust are linked. Improving trust will improve the adoption of these three technologies.
  2. AI is dealing with more data than only personal one. Data protection is an issue to be addressed. Regulation is needed, balancing market adoption and human rights. 
  3. A human-centric approach is needed if these technologies are to play a role in the SDGs.
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

The panel supported the potential of IoT, Big Data, AI in addressing societal challenges. Improving awareness about benefits and risks allows users to take informed decisions. Government and grass-root activities, and SME involvement are needed. Improving infrastructure is key to access and uptake. 

David Salomao presented case studies for disaster management and pointed to the challenge of analyzing quickly huge amounts of data to find patterns. Big data produced by telecom subscribers can be used to gather information during disasters. This needs regulation to avoid misuse. 

Christine Tan pointed to the fragmentation in the IoT area. She presented two applications, in rural villages in China and mountainous areas, where simple sensors provide useful information about the environment and allow remote monitoring. 

Raymond Onuoha observed that AI, IoT, BD have not yet gained traction while they could help address the SGDs. He referred to their use during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. 

Olivier Bringer noted that these technologies are key pillars of digital transformation. He presented EU projects, highlighting how huge amounts of data gathered through collective intelligence can be used to improve, for example, transportation. 

Evelyne Tauchnitz spoke about risks and opportunities in peace and conflict. She pointed out that if AI is trusted, it can help to prevent future conflicts. Agenda setting is an important issue as it shapes the debate. 

Emanuela Girardi gave examples in health, inclusiveness for the disabled and drug discovery. It is important to bring AI to people by outreach activities. She presented the CLAIRE project to create a European AI ecosystem, 

Bruna Martins dos Santos presented AI projects that bring transparency in the public space. She pointed to the need for a national AI strategy that considers all voices and is regional sensitive. She talked about facial recognition for public safety in Brazil.

3. Policy Recommendations or Suggestions for the Way Forward

Activating pilot projects and sharing lessons learned can help drive policy and regulation. An active platform to share outcome of pilot projects by all stakeholders could support improvement of policy and regulation. Use of open-source technology, adoption of open standards, and a certification process could improve system security and trust.

Considering voices from all players and being sensitive to regional needs has been highlighted as ways to improve trust. All the speakers agreed on the need of opening a debate on the adoption of these new technologies and on explaining to the community at large what they imply.

5. Making Progress for Tackled Issues

As IoT, Big Data and AI are evolving technologies, there is a need to continue BPF on this subject. More case studies are needed as they can drive policy and regulation.

6. Estimated Participation


7. Reflection to Gender Issues


It has been pointed out that in AI technologies it is important to consider gender.