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In Advance of International Parley, New Book Pushes for Global Accords on Artificial Intelligence

Leading policymakers from around the world explore promise and pitfalls of new technologies

Boston-Madrid, September 2, 2021. As leading policymakers from around the world prepare for a pivotal meeting on digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence, a first-of-its-kind book is drawing attention to the bold idea of establishing international accords to help guide the evolution of AI while safeguarding against potential abuses.

The policymakers, including former presidents and prime ministers, will convene September 7-9 for a virtual “Policy Lab” co-sponsored by the Club de Madrid and Boston Global Forum. In advance of the gathering, the Boston Global Forum has teamed up with United Nations Academic Impact to release Remaking the World: Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.

Together with the upcoming Policy Lab, Remaking the World takes a major step toward creating a “rights-based agenda for the global governance of AI and digital societies,” says Nguyen Anh Tuan, who edited the book and serves as CEO of the Boston Global Forum (BGF). “We’re moving toward a framework, an ecosystem, a social contract for the AI age.” Tuan also directs the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

The 256-page book is made up of white papers, speeches, remarks, and other presentations at events held during the pandemic and sponsored or co-sponsored by BGF. Among the contributors are well-known policy makers and innovators such as Ashton Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Vint Cerf, “the father of the Internet” and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

The opening chapter, authored by leading scholars and policy makers affiliated with the Boston-based group, proposes a “social contract,” or an agreement among members of global society to cooperate in the interests of social wellbeing. Just as TCP / IP is the platform for communication among internet users, the Social Contract for AI Age is a platform for connection among governments, stakeholders, and private and public institutions.

One of many principles enunciated is that individuals have a right to both privacy and “access and control over their own data.”

Elsewhere in the book, political scientist Nazli Choucri of MIT articulates a framework for artificial intelligence international accords, including “the precautionary principle,” which aims not to impede innovation but to “explore the unknown with care and caution.” Likewise, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, discusses the need for an AI “ecosystem of trust.” This would include regulation not “for regulation’s sake,” but for the purpose of protecting basic rights, encouraging innovation, and spurring technological leadership. They are among 25 prominent contributors to the book.

Tuan added that Remaking the World, along with the Policy Lab, represents the first time that prominent international leaders are coming together to lay the groundwork for global AI accords. The book is currently in an electronic edition and will be available in print soon.

For more information, or to register to attend the Policy Lab September 7-9, please visit: http://www.clubmadrid.org/policy-lab-fundamental-rights-in-ai-digital-societies-towards-an-international-accord/and https://aidigitalrights.com/

About the Boston Global Forum

– The Boston Global Forum (BGF), in collaboration with the United Nations Centennial Initiative, released a major work entitled Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.   More than twenty distinguished leaders, scholars, analysts, and thinkers put forth unprecedented approaches to the challenges before us. These include President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Governor Michael Dukakis, Father of Internet Vint Cerf, Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Harvard University Professors Joseph Nye and Thomas Patterson, MIT Professors Nazli Choucri and Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, and European Parliament Member Eva Kaili.  The BGF introduced core concepts shaping pathbreaking international initiatives, notably, the Social Contract for the AI Age, an AI International Accord, the Global Alliance for Digital Governance, the AI World Society (AIWS) Ecosystem, and AIWS City.

About the Club de Madrid

–  Club de Madrid is the world’s largest forum of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, who leverage their individual and collective leadership experience and global reach to strengthen inclusive democratic practice and improve the well-being of people around the world.

As a non-partisan and international non-profit organisation, it counts on the hands-on governance experience of  more than 100 Members from over 70 countries, along with a global network of advisers and partners across all sectors of society.

This unique alliance stimulates dialogue, builds bridges and engages in advocacy efforts to strengthen public policies and effective leadership through recommendations that tackle challenges such as, inclusion, sustainable  development and peace at the national and multilateral level.

Links and Attachment:

Media kit for Policy Lab

Registration for Policy Lab

About the Boston Global Forum

∙ Cover of Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment

 Contact: Nguyen Anh Tuan. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 617-286-6589 or Jim McManus: [email protected], 617-413-9232