IGF 2018 WS #278 5G, IoT and AI - Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Organizer 1: Eduardo Magrani, ITS RIO 
Organizer 2: Carlos Affonso Pereira, ITS RIO 
Organizer 3: Ashar Amar, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Organizer 4: Marie-Noemie Marques, Orange 
Organizer 5: Pedraza-Barrios Ricardo, CRC 
Organizer 6: XIAOQI QIN, BUPT 
Organizer 7: Maarit Palovirta, Internet Society

Speaker 1: Malavika Jayaram, Civil Society, (Asia-Pacific Group)
Speaker 2: Amar Ashar, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Christian Djeffal, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Alexia Gonzalez Fanfalone, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5 Juan Manuel Wilches Duran, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 6: Mongi Marzoug, Private Sector, African Group

Additional Speakers: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility - Modified List of speakers
 

Speaker 1: Malavika Jayaram, Civil Society, (Asia-Pacific Group)
Speaker 2: Amar Ashar, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Christian Djefall, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Alexia Gonzalez Fanfalone, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5 Juan Manuel Wilches Duran, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 6: Mongi Marzoug, Private Sector, African Group

 

Relevance: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

The Session will explore the potential of 5G, IOT and AI, to address complementary and interlinked goals: Digital inclusion and Accessibility. The Session will discuss the policies that will promote the deployment of 5G, an advanced and efficient technology,  in order to contribute to the objectives of the sustainable development goals, in view of the commitment made in General Assembly resolution 70/125 to close the digital divides between and within countries, including the gender digital divide, through efforts to improve connectivity, affordability, access to online services, education, information and knowledge, multilingual content, digital skills and digital literacy.

The developing world will be directly affected by the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and services. There is a growing need for a more diverse perspective regarding the policy issues and consequences of AI. As a follow up of the last Internet Governance Forum session on AI and Inclusion (2017), there is a need to identify, understand, and address new issues, from a more interdisciplinary and global perspective when it comes to the future of labour and transparent and inclusive design of new technologies.

This Session is related to Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion (CENB) and will offer an opportunity to present 5G, IoT and AI technical features and promises, suggest the possible regulatory issues at stake, propose an economic perspective and address the civil society concerns, in view of the increasing requirements of a digital economy.

Session Content: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

To bring digitalization’s benefits for society and economy, connectivity remains a main concern in the world. With the introduction of new fixed and mobile technologies, such as 5G and the development of an of new IOT based services, this concern will remain. These technologies will need to be progressively introduced in all regions so that the citizens may enjoy the performances and the potentialities they are bringing, in relation to an extended coverage of populations (geographical coverage), and altogether the opportunities offered by IOTs (coverage with services). This topic highlights a key issue for Internet governance and inclusive and sustainable growth: connectivity to ensure access to all and the benefits of a digitalised society and inclusiveness for all the citizens.  

In addition, this roundtable aims to provide a global view on AI and inclusion's debates focused on the geographic divide between the Global North and the Global South when it comes to the future of labour and transparent and inclusive design of new technologies, with representatives of different continents and contexts in a multistakeholder approach.

Interventions: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

 The session would be moderated by the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS Rio) – Eduardo Magrani and ETNO – Marta Capelo.

The speakers will bring their views coming from various geographies and sectors. As such, a technical view will be first presented, followed by an economic approach. Further to that, a regulatory approach will be provided, along with the view s of the private sector. Finally, a vision by the civil society and youth will be offered. Subsequently, the moderators will encourage debate with the IGF community, enlarging the conversation and deepening the understanding the topics and the inclusion challenges building upon the interventions.

 

For the Open debate, the moderators will also encourage interventions by Smitha Krishna (Project Leader at National Law University, India), Miriam Wimmer (Director of Digital Transformation Policies / Secretariat of Digital Policies at MCTIC in Brazil), Nagla Rizk (Director of Access to Knowledge for Development Center - Egypt), Juliana Nolasco (Public Policy Manager at Google Brazil), KS Park (Korea University), Xiaoqi Qin (BUPT), Maarit Palovirta (Internet Society) and Jenna Fung, NetMission.Asia (Youth IGF), Asia-Pacific Group.

Diversity: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339 - Among the speakers, two women, from Technical/ Academic and Intergovernmental Organisations and two men, from Government and Private sector have been confirmed. Geographically, the speakers cover Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe.

Online Participation: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

 Online participation will be attended equally with onsite participation; the roundtable moderators will have the online participation session open, and will be in close communication with the workshop’s online moderator, to be able to attend online attendees

Discussion Facilitation: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

 The workshop moderators will announce the plan of the workshop, announcing as well that a slot is provided for questions by the audience after each speaker’s intervention and after the second round of speakers. Each speaker will introduce in its speech a key issue to be discussed by the next speaker. The questions by the audience will be taken into account for key takeaways.

Online Moderator: 

Kristina Olausson

Rapporteur: 

Marie Noémie Marques

Agenda: 

Merged Proposal for WS #278 and WS #339: 5G, IoT and AI -  Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

Introduction by the moderators: 5 minutes

Every Speaker introduces his / her theme: 5 minutes ; total   30 minutes

Second round discussion between the Speakers:   15 minutes

Open debate:           35 minutes

Conclusions by the moderators:        5 minutes

Report: 

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.):  

Workshop

 

- Title:

5G, IoT and AI - Addressing Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

- Date & Time:

14 November 2018 – 10:40 – 12:10

 

- Organizer(s):

Organizer 1: EduardoMagrani, ITS RIO (GRULAC)

Organiser 2: Carlos Affonso Pereira, ITS RIO (GRULAC)

Organizer 3: Marie-Noemie Marques, Orange (WEOG)                                      
Organizer 4: Pedraza-Barrios Ricardo, CRC (GRULAC)
Organizer 5: Xiaoqi Qin, BUPT (Asia Pacific)

Organizer 6: Maarit Palovirta, Internet Society

 

- Chair/Moderator:

Marta Capelo, ETNO (WEOG)

Carlos Affonso Pereira, ITS RIO (GRULAC)

 

- Rapporteur/Notetaker:

Marie-Noémie Marques

 

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

Speaker 1: Alexia Gonzalez Fanfalone, OECD, F

Speaker 2: Mongi Marzoug, Orange, M
Speaker 3: Juan Manuel Wilches Duran, CRC in Colombia, M
Speaker 4: Smitha Krisna, National Law University, F

Speaker 5: Christian Djeffal, A. von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), M

Speaker 6: EduardoMagrani, ITS RIO, M

 

- Theme (as listed here):

Digital Inclusion and Accessibility

 

- Subtheme (as listed here):

Access and Connectivity

 

 

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [300-500 words or less]

 

  • Mobile Connectivity,  IoTs and AI  are essential to address efficiently basic needs (electricity, water, education, healthcare and transport) and, for mobile centric countries in developing countries, 5G, starting with cost-effective features, is a cornerstone infrastructure for digital economy and inclusion.
  • Governments have a key role in facilitating the adoption of new technologies like 5G, IoTs, AI for the improvement of its population´s accessibility and connectivity. One way that has been explored in some countries to achieve this objective, is the introduction nationally of a convergent model of regulatory organisation for the development of a dynamic and innovative Internet-enabled ecosystem.
  • In many developing countries, renewable energy (solar PV) and energy efficiency are essential for cost-effective and clean power for mobile networks and devices.

 

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [300 words] Examples: There was broad support for the view that…; Many [or some] indicated that…; Some supported XX, while others noted YY…; No agreement…

 

The OECD intervention on 5G focused on what the next generation of wireless networks could mean for communication markets in terms of investment, spectrum management, competition, coverage and the increasing requirements of a digital economy. The development of 5G raises a wide range of questions derived from “network densification” and these issues will have to be considered in the context of the traditional telecom issues (rights of way, interoperability, infrastructure sharing, deployment of fibre backhaul and backbone, etc.).

 

Commissioner Juan Manuel Wilches, from the CRC, addressed a regulator viewpoint of the expectations towards new technologies like 5G, IoT or AI in terms of population / geographical coverage, and new innovative services, to address the needs of the population in the developing economies. It is essential to have the right incentive to promote investment, simplify regulation and value commercial agreements, while maintaining a pro-competitive environment. Regulators have to understand how the digital ecosystem works and intervene only where really necessary not to limit its development. The role of governments is to try to reduce the risks associated to AI and IoTs such as security, privacy, and in a longer scope, jobs.

 

For the private sector, connectivity needs to be promoted through the five main dimensions and policy options already identified by the IGF community: Deploying infrastructure; Increasing usability; Enabling users; Ensuring affordability; Creating an enabling environment. For many developing countries, digital advanced technologies, such as 5G and IoTs, will play a critical role to address the basic needs of the population (access to electricity, water, education, healthcare and transports); network costs and energy costs will need to be addressed efficiently and with priority.  5G and IoT applications will be even more important for the developing countries; digital financial inclusion is also expected to help boost poverty eradication, job creation, and citizen empowerment.

The relationship between discrimination and inclusion at macro level was highlighted by the Speaker from HIIG, in particular through the analysis of the national strategy plans for AI. AI systems can be used differently, applying discriminatory practices or combatting discrimination. As AI can also become a tool for inclusion for the future, it is important to look at specific AI applications, as well as organisational and strategic developments of AI at macro level.

In addition, the Speaker from ITS RIO focused on the need to understand the concepts of IoT and AI, to be able to discuss them on a common ground. As “things” are indeed becoming more intelligent, unpredictable and autonomous, social and ethical issues such as inclusion and discrimination need to considered, differentiating between narrow and strong AI. To promote inclusion and reduce discrimination, there will be a need to ensure: (i) inclusive engineering (including gender and race balance, and minorities in the design phase), and (ii) explainable AI (transparency, openness and capability of delivering an explanation for automated decisions).

The issues of liability in case of accident and identification of responsibilities, when the tasks will be ensured by machines, was shared by the ITS RIO speaker, as well as raised by a Speaker from the BUPT.

Finally, there is also, among the young people (Jenna Fung, NetMission Asia) a concern about the ability for the existing labor force to seize the opportunities deriving from these new technologies and how to eliminate the gap between the labor force and the rate of the rapidly changing technological world, in particular in relation to emerging countries and the youth.

- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [200 words]

 

  • As we evolve in 5G and next technologies, there is a need to go to the basic of traditional telecoms: efficient spectrum management, rights of way, interoperability, market driven infrastructure sharing, deployment of fibre backhaul and backbone, etc.

 

  • 5G and IoTs are expected to expand and improve connectivity and inclusivity, through the enrichment of mobile connectivity, for the benefit of consumers, innovators and business. Governments should release the necessary spectrum for mobile connectivity and especially low bands and allowing network and spectrum sharing in rural areas.

 

  • There is a need to simplify regulation and regulate as little as possible. There is an urgent need to define the frequency bands; to promote connection to the cell sites in the remote areas of the countries ;  no obligation or restrictions on sharing agreements and on the way operators are collaborating to deploy networks.

 

  • AI can also become a tool for inclusion for the future, therefore organisational and strategic developments of AI shall also be looked at macro level.

 

  • All the important issues that have been mentioned need to be tackled through different perspectives. We need to have a holistic view of the challenges.

 

  • As “things” are indeed becoming more intelligent, unpredictable and autonomous, social and ethical issues such as inclusion and discrimination need to be considered.

 

- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [150 words]

 

In general and for 5G in particular, the stakeholders shall continue sharing experiences and knowledge to apply locally solutions adapted to the needs of people and businesses.

 

In relation to AI, we need to look at what we want to achieve and decide what is the relevant institution. The IGF  ecosystem may be an appropriate forum to deal with AI, provided that this ecosystem is able to take up the task. IGF is good, because it is good at inclusion and has a meaningful participation, but there is a need to broaden participation and find new ways of discussion. For example, there is in Germany a proposal to ask the population at random to decide and discuss on issues in order to find new ways of governance for AI.

 

- Please estimate the total number of participants.

 

40 + (22 women ; 19 men in the room).

 

- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

 

22 women; gender variant impossible to know / identify.

 

- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

 

The issue of Digital Inclusion and Accessibility was tackled as a whole, in relation to any citizen, user or producer, without any distinction of gender. One Speaker insisted on the fact that the promotion of inclusion and reduction of discrimination will have to ensure, in relation to inclusive engineering, that there is a balance to reach in terms of gender and race, and that minorities are included on the design phase.

Session Time: 
Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 10:40 to 12:10
Room: 
Salle VI

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678