Keynote Speech of Prime Minister Enrico Letta at the BGF High-level Conference

Apr 30, 2023Event Updates, News

Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta delivered a keynote speech at the BGF High-level Conference at Harvard University Faculty Club on April 26, 2023. Letta emphasized that the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI) is unstoppable, and it is essential to manage the way in which it works and coordinate among countries to harness its benefits. He mentioned that AI improves the quality of life, enhances human abilities, saves lives, fosters scientific progress, and improves decision-making processes. However, he also discussed the risks associated with AI, such as data monopolies, surveillance technologies, cyber welfare, technological warfare, and the impact on local market transformations with social consequences.

Letta pointed out the need for coordination among different areas of the world, including the US, European Union, Japan, and India, to discuss AI development and regulation. He highlighted that all these democracies face existential threats, such as political polarization, extreme inequality, decline in public services, and democratic backsliding. He expressed concern about the rise of authoritarian models and the decline of multilateralism on various subjects, including trade, and the United Nations.

Letta stressed the need to link the discussion on the future of AI coordination to a strengthening of democracy and reacting to democratic fatigue. He noted that multilateralism falling apart is contributing to the rise of authoritarian models, and therefore, coordination among democracies is essential to address the challenges and benefits of AI.