IGF 2022 Day 1 Open Forum #25 Explore the road of intelligent social governance in advance

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> ZHANG FANG:  Distinguished Experts, Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.  Welcome to join us here tonight at this IGF 2022 open forum #25 explore the road of intelligent society governance.  I'm Zhang Fang.  So here on behalf of the organizer of this forum, I would like to extend our warmest welcome.  I would like to introduce, Zhang Peng, Deputy Director General of Information Technology Bureau, from Cyber Administration of China.  And Professor Su Jun, and John Hopcroft, with Cornell University and Turing Award winner, and also Zhang Xiao, VP of China Internet Network Information Center, and Simon Marvin, professor of Urban Institute, University of Sheffield and also Huang Cui, and Wang Yingchun, would is the Secretary General of the expert advisory committee of national AI innovation and development pilot zone in Shanghai.

So here for the open forum tonight, we are so glad to have delegates and expert from different fields.  I welcome you all.  So here, please allow me to invite seven experts and scholars from this important field to pool our resources and wisdom to make our contribution to the future development.  Now let me give the floor first to Mr. Zhang Peng from cyberspace administration of China.

Since he has other important arrangements tonight.  So he sends us a prerecorded video.  Please.

>> ZHANG PENG: Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the UN Internet Governance Forum, open forum #25 exploring the road of intelligent social governance in advance.  It is a pleasure to be with you online here, and on the site, of course.  I would like to thank you all for your participation and I would like to pay my special thanks to Ethiopia, this year's host country.

In today's world a new round of technological revolution and industrial change represented by artificial intelligence and other technologies is driving rapid economic and social development.  And intelligent technologies are affecting human development in an unprecedented manner and immediate.  Pushing mankind from the industrial age to the information age.

Exploring paths of governance for smart society has become a major and urgent proposition of the times.  The Chinese government always attaches great importance to AI innovation and its impact on social development.  Artificial intelligence is an important driving force in the new round of technological revolution and industrial change.  And for promoting the deep integration of economic and social development and promoting the healthy development of a new generation of artificial intelligence in China.

We have seen China carrying out a lot of work on the intelligence social governance.  In 2021, the national program on intelligence social governance was initiated around see area including education, healthcare and elderly care.  Under this framework, 92 experimental bases were built, and hundreds of applications were set up to explore which can be done in operation modes and norms, policy systems, and institutional mechanisms of intelligent society.

This program has generated impressive results.  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts on smart social governance based on the works we have been carrying out in the past years.  First artificial intelligence should be promoted to strengthen AI with public services such as elderly care, Social Security and sports and use AI technology to enhance the public services and the social governance of government departments from the perspective safeguarding and improving people's livelihood and the need for better life for the future.

Second we should study and mitigate the potential risks in the development of ax I technology, and promote the research on legal, and social issues related to A I. technology, establish sound laws and regulations to safeguard the healthy development of AI technology, and form the ethical norms for the governance and safeguard the interest of the people and national security, third international exchanges should be enhanced, guided by the concept of the community of shared destiny for mankind.  We should adhere and promote agile govern and inclusive sharing of smart societies and achieve differential development and win/win among countries.  China is willing to share its working experience and smart social governance experiences with other countries and contribute Chinese solutions.

Today's forum serves as a wonderful platform for global smart social governance.  We look forward to your insights and wisdom in the upcoming dialogues and the discussions of new findings, for future smart social governance.  We are willing to strengthen cooperations around the world, and guide stakeholders, academia, research, and application institutions to work together to promote a benevolent ax I technology, humanistic intellectual society and promote the building of community of shared destiny.  Thank you.

>> ZHANG FANG: Well, thank you very much.  Now let me give the floor to Professor Su Jun, Dean of the institute of intelligent social governance of Tsinghua University.

>> SU JUN: Distinguished participants, Professor Hopcroft.  It's a pleasure for me to be here with all of you to discuss the future of smart societies with friends from around the world at the 17th United Nations IGF.  The theme of my speech today is toward a smart society with a human touch.  Our world today is witnessing a new round of technological revolution and representative change.  Disruptively restructuring human sew site and bringing about significant and far reaching impacts on economic development, social governance and people's lives in countries around the world.

People are now asking what kind of intelligent society we should view for our future generations.  As an old Chinese saying goes, it is better for the doer to undo what he has done.  We are the initiators the smart technology revolution and therefore are the champions in addressing the new challenges of a smart city and the risks of a smart city.

In the face of the huge changes brought about by artificial intelligence technologies we are offering for new values and directions.  The search for the various issues and lists and focusing on a systemic and comprehensive assessment of the ongoing I am impact on society and politics.  So it is important that we adopt a long period, a long‑term multidisciplinary and wealth field evidence‑based research methodology.  So facing the systemic risks we are exploring new values and new modes, so as viewed a smart society with a human touch, but that's dependent on whether we can go beyond the limitations we have and to avoid the long tail effect and if we can have enough intelligence and wisdom to restructure the current world order.  So it is important for us to not only focus on technology itself but to have a systemic and comprehensive understanding about sustainable impact of science and technologies on our society, culture and politics.

We need to maximize science and technology developments to identify and to mitigate the risks and challenges.  So it is important for us to conduct a long‑term multidisciplinary and evidence‑based research methodology, gain and in‑depth understanding of process and the mechanism of the human social transformation and establish a people‑oriented research system.

China enjoys unique experience, based on social experiments and according to the theory of technological innovation, a technological process consists of four stages, basic research, common technology, and development and demonstration and diffusion and 3D.

In this regard, China enjoys unique advantages in many different aspects.  Actually, statistics suggest that by June 2022, China's AI industry scale exceeded $400 billion RMB, the number of enterprises existed, 1.7 million 5G‑based stations built and 150 large international platforms were built, kicking more than 78 million industrial devices.  It's fair to say that China has formed an AI development pattern with in‑depth technology research and development, huge industrial scale, diverse application scenarios and numerous social needs.

And the rich and diverse scenarios have become our resources and will land China in a very good position in providing the world with valuable experiences, references and best practices into our global counterparts and we can make our Chinese contribution to that.  In order to give full play to the advantages of China's extensive in‑depth and diverse AI application scenarios, and to further explore the impact of AI technology on human beings, organizations and the society as a whole.  So as to further promote the development of A I. technology and enhance the effectiveness of governance in an intelligent society.

My colleagues and I took the lead in launching the initiatives of AI social experiments and exploring China's role in intelligent social governance in 2019, based on long‑term research.  This initiative has received strong support and active participation from the Chinese government, industries and academia.  It has been officially written in a public released policy documents.  Now, we have built 92 national experimental basic for intelligent social governance and they are conducting AI experiences 18AI across China.

A group of experts have carried out research on intelligent social governance based on social experiments.  Tsinghua University has done research on AI and enabled issuance of digital villages and the addiction of AI and one again our world is now standing at the crossroads of history.  Our generation was born at the right time and experiencing opportunities while humanity is transforming from industrial society to a smart society.  It is particularly important at this time to maintain our original aspiration with the human experience and should be the mission of all scholars in building an intelligent society with a humanistic touch, putting people first and at the heart of our work.

I would like to put forward a few initiatives to discuss with all of you.  First, with this IGF forum, we should set up a global alliance on smart social governance so as to keep an exchanges and work to build a smart society with a humanistic touch.  Second, we should establish an information sharing mechanism.  My team and are willing to build a data sharing platform for AI research, regularly published research results and develop reports and share firsthand data with experts and scholars around the world.

Third we should establish an international research fund and we need to do mobilize the resources from a wide range of forces in the world, establish an international cooperation fund for smart social governance and build a corresponding international ecosystem.

Fourth, capacity building for smart social governance should be enhanced.  And it involved multiple disciplines and should be developing through training and organizing international events like workshops and conferences.

My dear friends, the smart society is a blue ocean, never before touched by mankind.  Let us work together to integrate the practice of technological innovation with the social experiment of artificial intelligence and actively explore the path of people-oriented intelligence with human touch.

That is my presentation.

(Awaiting English translation).

>> JOHN HOPCROFT: So the world is undergoing an information revolution that will impact all aspects of our civilization, just as the Industrial Revolution changed the nature of society.  A I. will be a major component of the future and will require governance to reduce the social risks of AI and profit from the future of A I.

We are already seeing the impact of AI on transportation with self‑driving cars, in social communication, and translation between languages, and many other areas as diverse as manufacturing, medicine, and agriculture.

Raising issues involving data ownership, fairness, bias, explain ability and legal implications.  A I. governance is essential to ensure that AI systems remain beneficial and safe.  This requires a deep understanding of the opportunities and the limitations of AI.

To create good AI governance, requires the cooperation of government officials, company officials, educational officials and professional societies.  It's also important for nations to work together to create a coherent A I. governance across nations.

Some of the issues to consider are:  That ax I is a black box an input is provided to an algorithm, and an output produced but we don't know how the decision was made by the AI program.  And machine learning, the black box models are created directly from data by an algorithm.  They don't know how the variables in the algorithm were combined.  Even if one had the list of input variables, black box predictive models can be so complex that no human can understand now the variables are processed to reach a final prediction.  If I use AI to grade my undergraduate students' exams, an opportunity might want to know why they did not get a better grade.  If a patient gets a medical diagnosis, they may be uncomfortable in knowing why a given treatment prescribed.

Another issue is bias.  If today high-level jobs are held mostly by men, an AI algorithm is likely to recommend men to such jobs.  It's important that governance requires that training data has biased removed and that AI algorithms operate in a fair way.  There's also the possibility of unintended consequences.

If we ask the AI program how to eliminate the coronavirus, it might respond, kill all humans.  If we ask how to eliminate jaywalking, a human might say fence the street.  An AI program might say, eliminate the street.

If I ask an AI program, how do I keep squirrels from my bird feeder, an AI program might say, don't put seeds in the feeder.  Another important issue is program security.  AI programs will be involved in all aspects of our lives it's important to develop design standards that will ensure that programs are correct, and that they cannot be compromised.  It is known that light changes of an image of a cat submitted to a deep network will change the classification of the cat from cat to airplane, even though an individual would not receive the changes.  There's also the issue of mistakes.  Would is responsible for a self‑driving car accident in the maker of the car?  The owner of the car?  The designer of the self‑driving algorithm?  It's clear that our legal systems need to be updated to handle issues that will arise in the information age.

We need AI programs that continue to learn.  It's important that AI programs continue.  It's not possible to train an AI program for a self‑driving car to understand all situations that might arise.  AI programs need to continue to learn just as a driver learns.  In the future, the percentage of population to produce all the goods and services will be small.  How do we create ‑‑ AI governance needs to ensure that quality of life will be preserved.

A I. will generate significant wealth for countries.  How will it be distributed?  Fairness is an issue so that all levels of people are taken care of.

And what will be the impact on society if social action is significantly reduced?

The training of AI will involve enormous quantities of data.  This raises issues as to who will own the data?  Will data used in one country be stored in another.  This is already become a major issue for communication media, search engines and programs involving media data, such as programs for contact tracing for COVID suppression.  These are just a few of the issues that need to be considered.  It's important that all parties have a say in the creation of AI governance that will be critical to ensure that our world is safe and fair.

This concludes my remarks.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak.

>> ZHANG FANG: Thank you so much, Professor John Hopcroft and a very clever way to pointing out the different dilemma by the AI.

Next, Ms. Zhang Xiao.

>> ZHANG XIAO: Hello, everyone, this is Zhang Xiao.  Today I'm excited to share my view about the social experiment carried out in China.  As we know the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres emphasized two important things in the 21st century.  One is the climate change and the other one the digitalization.  As we are entering the intelligence society, AI plays a very important role in many ways as well as the governance of AI.  I know there are a lot of discussions from different platforms such as UNESCO, and there's consensus with human centers transparent, and responsible.  Well, I understand that technology is not just technology.  It's more than that.  Technology is about society and technology is about culture and that's why these experiments from different countries deserves our attention.

Well, as we know that innovation is a driving force our sun stainable development.  It has driven our society in three ways.  First, AI creates a new factor of production which is intelligence which means we can do a lot of things that we cannot before, and AI can be adaptive and agile.  And AI has restructured the current economy and added a new value to the question based on data driven innovation.  Third, there's multiple disciplinary, and that means different sectors are working together to find better solutions for well-being of mankind.

How the society will benefit from this?  While we are enjoying the efficiencies and all the added benefit from AI are there are risks and challenges abound.  For example, when we look at information overload, there might be social polarization.  When you look at the universal healthcare, it raises the issue of abuse.  It might create fake news and social mistrust.  So all of these challenges assumptions we have to tackle together in the near future.

In this context, I'm thinking what should be done to avoid flowing the baby out with the bath water.  I think the A I. social experiment in China, which was launched by the community is a good case.  Personally, I want to make three comments.  This experiment can accumulate generic experience and this experience can be transferred and shared to other sectors and now the experiment is carried out in several sectors such as intelligent medical care, autonomous driving, and smart city and public administration, and second, this can contribute to the global community.  Because of the industry development, there are great scenarios of digitalization in China.  This creates a favorable environment for the application of AI, a systemic summary of the governance experience can provide a reference to the global community.

And to the global best practice ‑‑ third, I think the challenge experiment is not to set only answer or standard answer, rather it is to diversify the possibilities and inclusiveness for global solutions.

As I mentioned, different countries have different systems and cultures that requires us to respect the diversity and the different approaches of Internet Governance and China's social experiment is one step towards this goal.  Before it ends my speech, I would like to mention one thing, I think it is very important in May 2020, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres released a report "Roadmap for Digital Cooperation" which proposed supporting global cooperation in AI as one of the eight actions.

Also in a report last year, he mentioned developing a global digital compact as one the action plans.  This UN actions indicate a very important phase and entering a new stage of digital collaboration.  I want to highlight this.

So each contribution is variable.  Based on evidence, I think it's ‑‑ it also a contribution to the global community and the response to the UN action call.  So I suggest that the future and I'm glad now to hear from Professor Cui that it will be more open and collaborative and there will be more data sharing and more people will be engaged.  And I think I hope more people can get engaged since we understand that this is an interactive process and open to questions, suggestions and cooperation feedback from you.  Thank you.

>> ZHANG FANG: Thank you, madam Zhang Xiao for your wonderful sharing.  Indeed, technology are also part of our culture and life.  Now, let me give the floor to the next speaker, Professor Simon Marvin from the University of Sheffield.  For personal reasons, professor couldn't be here with us today, but he sent kindly this video for us.  Welcome.

>> SIMON MARVIN: Hello, my name is Simon Marvin.  I'm professor at the University of Sheffield in the urban institute and I'm really delighted to be invited along to speak to the forum today, and send my best wishes to you from Australia, to Chinese colleagues from Shanghai, and Beijing, and Tsinghua, and hopefully able to meet you face‑to‑face next year.

I want to caulk very briefly for seven minutes about urban AI in China and why as an academic based in the UK, I'm really very, very interested in the work being undertaken by policymakers and academics on urban AI, and what it's national or international significance is.  So as a scholar, I'm an urban geographer, urban planner, and I've had a significant interest in smart cities, and the application of digital management and govern and I have done quite a lot of work published by MIT, on looking at the developments of smart urbanism and understanding how it reshapes urban management and how it introduces new efficiencies and how it develops new control capacities.  Now, the particular any particular interest is what happens after of mart city?  If we think about smart city is about the application of digital technologies and utilization of data, I think there's something quite significant happening now.  It's almost like the application of the fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, the technology is automation, robotics, drones and AI.

And now being tested applied and demonstrated in urban context.  So these systems have come out of the factory, out of the sort of enclosed private spaces and are now becoming important for urban experimentation and it may have implications for all parts of life and how they become integrated in healthcare, policing and urban planning.

I'm particularly interested in the way in which there has been internationally a new round of experimentation with the use of drones, autonomous vehicles and service robots.  This is particularly accelerated by the pandemic.  The utilization of AI systems, facial recognition sensors and their application in decision making platforms I think what is interesting is what questions this raises about new forms of augmentation of human decision making and control in an urban context.  I think this is a signature agenda we need to extend the current analysis of smart cities and urbanism and what do AI and robotics mean for citizens and cities.  How do they become woven into the fabric of life.  Are they partners or robots employed in specialist, difficult environments?  Or do they become assistants that can help us navigate urban life?

What are the leading cities for AI and robotic experimentation, and I think they are not the same urban areas that necessarily led the sort of smart cities technological experimentation.  What can we learn from these sorts of first mover experiments?  The need for some sort of systemic understanding of how these reshape urban life and infrastructures is really critical.

I think what is very interesting, I was able to visit China in 2019, and spent time in Shanghai and two other cities.  I saw the way in which China's national leadership in AI were being played out through experiments undertaken by local government in partnership with corporate to explore how AI and robotic technologies can become integrated into different dimensions of urban life.

And of particular interest is the way in which certain cities are positioning themselves as almost national test beds because of the incredibly well-resourced AI priorities.  Shanghai and Pudong have been testing out AI with different policy in local government and materially through AI ‑‑ for example, AI island which is a little bit of a test bed for exploring how these applications can be applied in sectors like waste disposal and the Alibaba, has the city brain, an AI platform, along with other corporates, Alibaba, and they specialize in Hikvision TV.  And there's the control of infrastructure is another example of this sort of level of experimentation.

I think it's really important that we partly understand that there's social governance, but we need to under implementations for test beds.  And in Xiog with blockchains and city brain, and they are looking at physical planning and digital and robotic technologies.  And I think this provides a really important test bed in which we apply research to understand how these capacities change the way in which we think about the management of infrastructure, the planning of cities and really start to tease out what does autonomous systems offer in terms of efficiency optimization?  What are the sorts of problems and issues they raise once they become integrated in busy peopled and congested cities?  Now, why does this matter?  Now, I think it's really important that we develop a sort of internationally comparative analysis of the application of AI robotic and autonomous systems to urban life.  There's a huge amount of work on smart cities, but it's even more profound in what they do because of their ability to automate decision‑making but also the kinetic ‑‑ the ability to intervene through delivery, automated vehicles, the way in which they can actually change the structure outside of buildings.  They can automate and roboticize education, health and policing.

So I think the request he is, the applications or relatively limited or test beds but we need to understand the new entrants because they are not the same as the smart city.  And there is experiment because of the national nature of the program, of urban experimentation.

Other cities ‑‑ other context, Japan is quite interesting, this is the commitment to robotics, the US has a big emphasis on drones and delivery vehicles.

Cities in the Middle East are experimenting with the use of robotics and public services, mobility, policing.  But China, perhaps has the most synthetic and strategic program.

So the second thing is although the experimentation has been limited, there's a significant extension in the use of test bents and regulatory innovation.  We need to understand what sorts of systems need to be stretched or enlarged to allow the robotic experiments to take place.  What you in you questions do they open about the shares of roads and public base and how are the relationships between robots and humans managed within build and different services.  I think the issue is ‑‑ there's clearly some significant similarities but this is a distinctive new agenda and potentially more transformative.  And it's ‑‑ and the way it points to emergence of a post human autonomous city in which it's enacted by AI and the autonomous systems, and the level of functionality raises questions about how do we think about the interaction between humans and machines.  We need to start thinking about how are relationships hybridized and how do humans work with robots and what does that does for urban studies.

I think it's really rich.  There's an awful lot that can be experienced and the digital twins and the different forms of infrastructure like waste and energy.

I look forward to working with colleagues on this agenda, in the future, and especially when we have the opportunity to ‑‑ to have further discussions about how internationally we build a comparative understanding and what the robotic and AI enabled urbanism offers and thank you very much.

>> ZHANG FANG: Thank you so much, Mr. Simon.  I would like to present to you profess hoar Huang Cui to talk about the people‑centered data governance humankind.  Because of the time arrangement, we have to conclude before 10:15.  So please make sure that you can keep good timing.

>> HUANG CUI: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Good evening.  It gives me good pleasure to be part of the IGF 2022 open forum and I would like to thank the Secretariat for the great efforts and the thoughtful arrangement for this meeting.  So today we are living in a digital smart society, where the amount of social data is growing explosively.

Information technology is changing rapidly, cyberspace and it's integrated well real world and the technology such as big data and provided more intelligent options and possibilities for the social governance.

And as this forum uses 3D virtual venue format to allow more people to participate in an equal way and there are ID and the amount of data is growing exponentially, especially after 2019, when the data collection and the demand explode.  So in the world today, big date and analytics are everywhere.  In the private sector big data analysis is used in consumer analysis, personalized services, marketing and predictive analysis and advertising.  And that is ‑‑ and actually the value of data elements and also the public sector is using more and more big data analysis.  And more important effort.  For example, in the healthcare sector, big data analytics has created a new paradigm for the health care delivery system.

They have access to more comprehensive information to provide more valuable care and also with the big data analysis, the energy sector could predict better patterns and also the environmental alerts and the national economy sector also created financial models from historic economic data to shape the future economic development policies.  So we could see that with massive data, it brings opportunities to social governance and serious challenges in terms of the date rights, the privacy boundaries of data intelligence analysis.  So today, how could we establish a data governance framework and that's something we should think about, and, for example, the global data governance has become the important data of the world.

At the same time, different countries have a lot of different claims on the storage and the mining of the data.  So based on the different analysis and disputes in terms of the data analysis, we are faces with a lot of challenges and so we believe that whole world should think about how no build a new framework of data governance to make it more inclusive and this is what we could establish the smart intelligence society.  Faced with different challenges how could we form a data governance mechanism to be well prepared for the smart society?  We hope that we could build a framework of the data governance to promote the information of the roles so that even though there's conflicts and disputes among nations, in terms of the international cooperation, we still find hope, faced with a lot of digital infrastructure, we believe that different players based on the data governance we hope we can form a consensus to form the framework for the data governance and contribute to a more inclusive society.

The second proposal, we hope we can coordinate the role of the international organizations in the data governance platform.  We hope that we can do more discussion on these topics so that we can invite the participation of different stakeholders to establish a long‑term and equal platform where communication and promote inclusive human centered data.  And the human societies are closely connected in the global data governance.  We look forward to the database in favor of data governance for the human centered governance of data.  Thank you.

>> ZHANG FANG: Thank you, Professor Huang Cui for your presentation.

Next, I would like to invite the one last speaker, the researcher of the Secretary General expert advisory of national AI innovation and development pilot.  Researcher Wang Yingchun.

>> WANG YINGCHUN: It gives me great pleasure to be part of this forum, the international census on the smart society has been formed which is based on human orientation but we are with a lot of challenges, International Space Station of the research and fragmentation of the organizations.  So we need to build the artificial intelligence governance, which means the value for society should be integrated in an in‑depth way and the value can be integrated into technology so the application can also reflect the rules so that we can push forward the development of each other and we could use the internal and external pathways, for example for external pathway, we can use some basic tools to train the AI, and do the augmentation for the internal pathway, we could use specific measures to do the value into the whole process, like fairness, privacy, and they could be integrated into the different works of technology.

And judging from the situation right now, we are faced with a lot of different value, claims, et cetera, created by the scientists which are the embodiment of the combination of those two pathways.

In order for the governance principles, we still need different expertise and the key of AI conversion and the migration of different aspects as well as the different experts and the practitioners from different industries have a lot of industrial solution research and they found an interesting part, the knowledge, like the data categorization or taxonomy in different countries.  And the cognition of the different groups like the artificial medical analysis, especially on the imaging, et cetera, especially those applied to the rare diseases while the long‑term effects was not that obvious.

I believe that the governance of the smart society means broader knowledge integration, as well as cross cultural understanding, and if we could we are support the governance.

That's for me, thank you.

>> ZHANG FANG: Thank you very much for sharing with us from a totally different perspective, pointing a very clear direction for all of us.

Well, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the keynote speech of today's forum has ended here.  And hopefully this forum will become a very important starting point for us, for more innovations and communications, as well as partnerships in this specific field.  And also we can maximize the role of science and technology in promoting the quality of our life.  So at the request of our host, with he will skip the Q&A part of this evening's session.  And hopefully we can find more opportunities for further discussions in the near future, so as to make our joint contribution to this smart governance and society while addressing the new problems and challenges in the future, again, thank you very much for your contribution and participation.  Thank you.  Good night.