IGF 2023 WS #349 Searching for Standards: The Global Competition to Govern AI

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (04:30 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (06:00 UTC)
WS 1 – Annex Hall 1

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Emerging Technologies
Chat GPT, Generative AI, and Machine Learning
Future & Sustainable Work in the World of Generative AI

Organizer 1: Michael Karanicolas, 🔒
Organizer 2: Natalie Roisman, Georgetown Institute for Technology, Law & Policy
Organizer 3: Chinmayi Arun, 🔒Information Society Project at Yale Law School

Speaker 1: Kyoko Yoshinaga, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Tomiwa Ilori, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Simon Chesterman, Government, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Carlos Affonso Souza, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: GABRIELA RAMOS, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 6: Courtney Radsch, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Michael Karanicolas, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Natalie Roisman, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Chinmayi Arun, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How are different centers of power, including countries, approaching AI governance, and how are these models of governance influencing each other through processes of regulatory diffusion and convergence? 2. What role is and should industry play in shaping the rules governing AI? What role should governments play? How do these interact? 3. What particular values and structures should guide emerging international approaches to AI governance, and how can we ensure that these approaches support the best interests of the public at large, especially disempowered communities?

What will participants gain from attending this session? We intend to use this session to, first, introduce participants to the contours of global AI governance debates, including informing them about new rule-making trends across the major regulatory blocs, and their external impacts. However, we also hope to use this session to foster a conversation about the impacts of AI outside of the privileged minority, to allow participants to share their experiences and network together with potential collaborators on these issues. Ultimately, we hope that this event will serve as a baseline for mobilizing global action in support of a broader, multistakeholder approach to AI governance, and to boost existing international platforms and mechanisms for collaboration.


The expansion of AI has led to various models of governance emerging for these new technologies, including through national and subnational legislation, agency-based regulation, and industry standards. However, while no single state exercises global authority over the development and deployment of A.I., powerful centers of governance have begun to emerge, particularly through American, E.U., and Chinese efforts to influence the development of trans-national standards, as well as through efforts such as UNESCO's Recommendation on the Ethics of AI and the OECD’s Artificial Intelligence Principles. However, the dominance of advanced economies in early standard-setting means that harms from AI are predominately viewed through the lens of impacted stakeholders in a rich world context, at the cost of impacts which tend to be emphasized elsewhere. The purpose of this session is to foster a conversation about the future of A.I. governance, and how to ensure that standards development appropriately reflects the needs and concerns of all of the world’s people. The discussion will focus on the interplay between Global North & Global South in AI development, regulation, and distribution, including through procurement relationships and mechanisms of transparency and accountability for trans-national harms, as well as the cross-border impacts of legislative development and standard setting initiatives. It will also be an opportunity for participants to share information and network together regional efforts in this space.

Expected Outcomes

This session will take place as part of a series of programming and projects at Yale, Georgetown, and UCLA, along with partner networks, focused on supporting the development of global AI governance frameworks. These include Yale ISP’s Majority World Initiative and AI Governance Series, and UCLA ITLP’s Generating Governance series. The discussions will also be featured at the upcoming UNESCO Global Observatory on AI Ethics, and be disseminated through UNESCO’s networks. Throughout the session, a collaborative document will gather records of questions, as well as comments, observations, and other remarks made during and after the workshop, so that they can be integrated into follow up reporting. We hope to draw on the IGF’s convening power to add new voices and perspectives to this debate. To this end this session will also engage in network-building, enabling the participants and organizers to discover new voices and include them in future policy conversations.

Hybrid Format: The structure of this round table is intended to foster an inclusive conversation and promote constructive exchanges between both onsite and online participants. All of the sponsors have extensive experience at managing hybrid events featuring diverse and globally distributed audiences, and we are confident that we can provide an inclusive and engaging environment. Prior to the event, preparatory documents will be circulated to speakers and at least one coordination call will be held to ensure that each speaker is prepared and secure in their interventions. Planned interventions will be capped at time in order to permit fruitful exchanges with other attendees. Following these early interventions, we intend to open the floor for discussion and Q&A, in order to allow for as many perspectives and commentary as possible.