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‘UN Insider: On Way to A Transatlantic Alliance on Digital Governance A New Social Contract in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’ by Ramesh Jaura

This is a reprint of an article originally published here.

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – People around the world are realizing that capitalism driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) requires crafting a new sort of Social Contract, based on “stakeholder capitalism”, that is, capitalism that benefits everyone.

“Such capitalism cannot measure itself by money alone, but instead must encompass all aspects of human life, using metrics such as those developed to quantify the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” says Alex Pentland, director of MIT Connection Science, an MIT-wide initiative. He previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India.

“Perhaps the greatest achievement of the SDGs that sustainability, as well as access to opportunity, education, and health now have quantitative metrics, agreed to by every nation on earth, that can be used to guide both enterprises and nations to a more sustainable, inclusive, fair, and lower risk future,” he writes in a contribution for the UN Academic Compact (UNAI).

“We cooperate with the United Nations Academic Impact through the United Nations 2045 Initiative,” said Nguyen Anh Tuan, CEO of the Boston Global Forum (BGF), Director of the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation (MDI) and Co-Founder of the AI World Society Innovation Network (AIWS.net).

The United Nations 2045 initiative includes roundtables, ideas, concepts, solutions, essays, and reflections looking ahead to the global landscape in 2045, when the UN completes its first centenary, in areas of these technologies, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and weapons systems, among others.

“Such a compilation which looks both to the horizon ahead and the role of the United Nations in making it beneficial and secure would be timely,” Mr Tuan told IDN in an email interview.

He was speaking about the Virtual Policy Lab ‘Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance: A New Social Contract in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’ from September 16-18.

The World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) in partnership with the Boston Global Forum (BGF) organised the Transatlantic and multi-stakeholder dialogue on global challenges and policy solutions in the context of the need to create a new Social Contract on digital technologies and AI.

“By comparing American and European approaches in the creation of a new Social Contract on AI and digital governance, under the critical eye of former democratic Heads of State or Government, this policy dialogue stimulated new thinking and brought out ideas from representatives of governments, academic institutions and think tanks, tech companies, and civil society, from both regions,” Mr Tuan said.

At the same time, he added, the discussion generated a space to encourage and strengthen Transatlantic cooperation on the new Social Contract of digital governance in the framework of needed reforms of the multilateral system and needed global responses to common problems such as the global health crisis of COVID-19. The dialogue also served as a platform to establish a Transatlantic Alliance for Digital Governance (DADG).

One of the panels was moderated by Mr Ramu Damodaran, Chief of the UN Academic Impact. Explaining the views of the panellists, Mr Tuan said the panellists agreed that DADG will use standards of the Social Contract for the AI Age to: support fundamental rights, the rule of law, and democratic institutions, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19; and maintain peace and security (including AI and cyberspace) in Alliance members, and around the world.

They also agreed to address challenges, threats, and perils from any countries in the world, including climate change, pandemics, cyberattack, harmful AI, extreme nationalism, totalitarianism, dictators, destruction natural resources, or others that violate the Social Contract for the AI Age, and create new models, methodologies, concepts, and initiatives to make a better and smarter world.

“This smarter world is a democratic one with deep-applied AI,” said Mr Tuan.

The Transatlantic Alliance on Digital Governance includes 1. Democratic governments; 2. Companies in democratic countries; and 3. Intellectual Societies.

Mr Tuan said they also talked about the Activities of Transatlantic Alliance on Digital Governance:

– Unite Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, Global Partnership on AI, World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, OECD, Boston Global Forum, AIWS Innovation Network (AIWS.net) and top universities into an alliance

– “Democratic Alliance on Digital Governance”

– Discuss and decide strategies for a peaceful, safe, effective, and smart world.

– Maintain peace and security for the world.

– Maintain standards of the Social Contract for the AI Age in global business such as setting up and maintaining the Supply Chain 2020.

– Create international laws and accords based on standards of the Social Contract for the AI Age.

– Enforce international laws and accords.

– Create systems for Global Monitoring and Judging such as Global Courts and Global AI Citizen.

Below two further questions IDN asked Mr Tuan and his answers:

Question: Have the discussions paved the road to the creation of an initiative to monitor governments as well as companies in using AI and generate an AI Ethics Index at all levels?

Mr Tuan: Yes. We spoke about solutions to monitor AI developments and uses by governments, corporations, and to assess whether they comply with the norms and standards codified in the Social Contract for the AI Age. Noncompliant actors will be identified and publicized through fact-based reports.

We named the AI Ethics Index as the AI Social Contract Index, which is linked to the standards of Social Contract for the AI Age.

The AI Social Contract Index is a global survey that will allow policymakers and the public to assess progress toward trustworthy AI based on normative goals.

The AI Ethics Index has these objectives:
(1) to evaluate a country’s AI policies and practices in 2020,
(2) to compare the AI policies and practices of various countries in 2020, and
(3) to evaluate a country’s AI policies and practices over time.

The AI Ethics Index will focus on human rights, rule of law, and democratic governance metrics. Endorsement and implementation of the OECD AI Principles will be among the primary metrics.

Opportunities for the public to participate in the formation of national AI policy, as well as the creation of an independent, national commission to address AI challenges, will be included among the metrics. Patents, publications, and investment are important metrics for AI policies, but they will not be considered here. The AI Ethics Index will be published on an annual basis and will evolve as country practices change and new issues emerge.

The first edition of the AI Social Contract Index will examine policies and practices in the Top 25 countries by GDP and other high impact countries. These countries, ranked in order, are US, China, Japan, Germany, India, France, UK, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Korea, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Indonesia, Netherlands, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Belgium. (Source: Statistics Times. “High impact” countries include Israel and Estonia.)

Question: How do American and European approaches compare with each other in the creation of a new Social Contract on AI and digital governance?

Mr Tuan: The Boston Global Forum integrates both sides of the Atlantic. We call for the maintenance and protection of democratic values. The Social Contract for the AI Age is a new Social Contract on AI and digital governance. It is not only AI and Digital, but also involves politics, economy and society. The Social Contract for the AI Age seeks to build a multi-stakeholder, inclusive society in all aspects of life across politics, government, economics, business, and industry.

The Social Contract for the AI Age values creation, innovation, philanthropy, and mutual respect. It seeks the right of freedom on, and access to, the Internet worldwide. The Social Contract for the AI Age seeks to make the world a locus of responsible interaction—a place where every person’s contribution is recognized and everyone has a right to knowledge and access to information, where no one is above the law, where money cannot be used to subvert political process, and where integrity, knowledge, creativity, honesty, and tolerance shape decisions and guide policy. In short, the Social Contract for the AI Age seeks to build a world where all are recognized and valued, and all forms of governance adhere to a set of values and are accountable and transparent. It is a world where global challenges are met by collective action and responsibility. [IDN-InDepthNews – 11 October 2020]