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The Social Contract 2020 towards Safety, Security, & Sustainability of AI World

Professor Nazli Choucri, MIT, co-founder of the AIWS Innovation Network, writes for the United Nations 2045 project.

Advances in AI, internet, social media, and threats to cybersecurity jointly shape a new worldwide ecosystem for which there is no precedent. At issue is building new dimensions, even principles, which would shape the future of international law

All participants and centers of power and influence contribute to framing the legal order in the age of AI.  And each has rights and responsibilities that must be articulated and respected. An initial framing is presented below:

(1) Individuals, Citizens, Groups:

Everyone is entitled to basic rights and dignity that are enhanced by AI and the Internet Age and entail greater responsibility:

Data Rights and Responsibilities

Each individual has a right to privacy and is entitled to a device to access and control their own data. Individuals have a right to organize ways of managing their data, individually or collectively.

Education and Political Participation

Each individual has the Right to be involved directly and effectively in political decisions.  Each has access to education/knowledge pertaining to the use and impact of AI.


Each individual is prohibited from exercising adverse behaviors, such as hacking and disseminating disinformation.


(2)  Governments:

Every government is expected to behave responsibly in the management of AI for governance and for interactions with individuals.

Governments Standards:

Create incentives for citizens to use AI in ways that benefit society.

United Nations and International Organizations:

Extend sphere to include AI and extend the upholding of international standards/norms/practices pertaining thereto.Create and manage a universal digital currency.


(3) Business Entities

Business operations and related rights come with accountability and responsibility – nationally and internationally.

  • Respect independent audits for fairness, accountability, and cybersecurity.
  • Respect common AI values, standards, norms, and data ownership rules, and expect penalties for noncompliance.


(4) Civil Society Organizations:

Rights and responsibilities of civil society organizations include monitoring governments and firms with respect to common values.

  • Civil society organizations are responsible for compliance with common values/norms/standards/laws and expect penalties for noncompliance.
  • Support and recognize exemplary citizen contributions in AI area.


(5) AI Assistants:

AI assistants provide an interface to facilitate compliance with established standards.

  • Support AI users and assist them to serve the broad interests of society.
  • Engage with other power centers for mutual support and supervision.

The full document can be found here.