Strengthening international cooperation on AI

Report by Cameron F. Kerry, Joshua P. Meltzer, Andrea Renda, Alex Engler, and Rosanna Fanni: “Since 2017, when Canada became the first country to adopt a national AI strategy, at least 60 countries have adopted some form of policy for artificial intelligence (AI). The prospect of an estimated boost of 16 percent, or US$13 trillion, to global output by 2030 has led to an unprecedented race to promote AI uptake across industry, consumer markets, and government services. Global corporate investment in AI has reportedly reached US$60 billion in 2020 and is projected to more than double by 2025.

At the same time, the work on developing global standards for AI has led to significant developments in various international bodies. These encompass both technical aspects of AI (in standards development organizations (SDOs) such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) among others) and the ethical and policy dimensions of responsible AI. In addition, in 2018 the G-7 agreed to establish the Global Partnership on AI, a multistakeholder initiative working on projects to explore regulatory issues and opportunities for AI development. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the AI Policy Observatory to support and inform AI policy development. Several other international organizations have become active in developing proposed frameworks for responsible AI development.

In addition, there has been a proliferation of declarations and frameworks from public and private organizations aimed at guiding the development of responsible AI. While many of these focus on general principles, the past two years have seen efforts to put principles into operation through fully-fledged policy frameworks. Canada’s directive on the use of AI in government, Singapore’s Model AI Governance Framework, Japan’s Social Principles of Human-Centric AI, and the U.K. guidance on understanding AI ethics and safety have been frontrunners in this sense; they were followed by the U.S. guidance to federal agencies on regulation of AI and an executive order on how these agencies should use AI. Most recently, the EU proposal for adoption of regulation on AI has marked the first attempt to introduce a comprehensive legislative scheme governing AI.

In exploring how to align these various policymaking efforts, we focus on the most compelling reasons for stepping up international cooperation (the “why”); the issues and policy domains that appear most ready for enhanced collaboration (the “what”); and the instruments and forums that could be leveraged to achieve meaningful results in advancing international AI standards, regulatory cooperation, and joint R&D projects to tackle global challenges (the “how”). At the end of this report, we list the topics that we propose to explore in our forthcoming group discussions….(More)”