Club de Madrid and the Boston Global Forum just released the Final Report of the Policy Lab ‘Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance: A New Social Contract in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’, calling for members of Club de Madrid and world leaders to support, endorse and work for the implementation of the Social Contract for the AI Age.
Among the central features of the Social Contract for the AI Age are the following:
-Defining a new TCP/IP (the platform for communication among internet users), that is, a set of norms, values and standards specifically designed as connections among governments for enabling and supporting international relations – including between governments, between companies, between companies and government.
-Communities must have control over their data, given that data literacy at all levels of society is the basis for an intelligent, thoughtful society.
-All governments should promote the Democratic Alliance for Digital Governance.
In terms of policymaking, Club de Madrid and the Boston Global Forum’s proposed Social Contract for the Digital Age involves:
-Supporting an approach that includes different actors: governments, international organizations, tech companies, civil society organizations, amongst others.
-Strengthening an inclusive, accountable, transparent and ethical system centered around human beings, where Human Rights and a rules-based order are respected.
-Supporting efforts to transform the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation into a United Nations Convention on Artificial Intelligence.
-Promoting a Transatlantic Alliance ensuring that our multilateral system is capable of managing the global health crisis and other global challenges.
-Creating a Code of Ethics for AI Developers and AI Users.
-Building a system to monitor and evaluate governments, companies, and individuals.
-Fostering the recognition of the Social Contract for the AI Age by the United Nations, OECD, and other international organizations, governments, companies, civil society and the global AI community.
-Creating the “AIWS City”, a virtual digital city dedicated to the principle of the Social Contract for the AI Age.
In the midst of the current world health emergency caused by COVID-19, and which has impacted all spheres of life, humanity has turned to digital technologies and artificial intelligence to face impending challenges. From remote working to financial services and medical equipment, the extent to which we now depend on technology is increasing at a staggering rate. Hospitals are using robots to disinfect rooms, governments have become reliant on complex databases to curb the virus’ spread, and programmers have designed phone apps from which we can remotely control outbreaks. Under the present circumstances, technology seems to be an ally rather than a foe. Still, increasing concern from governments, academics and civil society that this technological transformation may be outpacing policy, must not be overlooked.
In this trying context, World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) in partnership with the Boston Global Forum (BGF), and with the generous support of the Tram Huong Khanh Hoa Company (ATC), organized the Policy Lab “ Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance: A New Social Contract in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,”. This multi-stakeholder dialogue analyzed global challenges and offer actionable policy solutions, as we consider the need to create a new social contract on digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). By contrasting North American and European best practices and perspectives, Club de Madrid and Boston Global Forum formulated policy recommendations and innovative ideas that help shape the role of the multilateral system in digital governance and give way to a renewed agreement between society and governments on digitalisation.
To debate these challenges, the Policy Lab will convened over 10 former democratic Heads of State and Government (all Members of Club de Madrid) Manuel Muñiz, Secretary of State for Global Spain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, as well as world class experts like computer scientist father of the Internet Vint Cerf, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, MIT Professor Alex Pentland and Governor Michael Dukakis, Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States (1988), professors of Harvard, MIT, and top universities. Together, the participants will lend their experience-based critical judgement to pioneering discussions which seek, among other priorities, to identify ways of engaging different sectors of society in grounding policymaking while protecting the democratic mandate.
Safeguarding citizen rights has become imperative since technology grants substantial power to those who control it. For instance, the technology being used to track citizen movements could potentially pose a violation of privacy rights if misused or left at the hands of non-democratic governments. New communication channels have also been contributing to the rapid spread of fake news about COVID-19, which has generated disinformation and increased confusion. All in all, the rapid rollout of digital technologies and AI beyond the control of states poses a global challenge never seen before, which is why we should not set global, regional and national standards of digital governance without all societal actors. Like so, debates from this Policy Lab on “The Social Contract for the AI Age”, the first social contract in digital, Internet and AI era, a platform for connection among governments, stakeholders, and private and public institutions, and for balancing centers power, initiated by the Boston Global Forum, paid particular attention to insight presented by government representatives, academic institutions, think tanks, tech companies and civil society.
By comparing American and European approaches in the creation of a new social contract on digitalisation, with the foresight of former democratic presidents and prime ministers, this discussion generated a space to encourage and strengthen transatlantic cooperation around digital governance and under the framework of much needed multilateral reforms and urgent global responses to common problems like the COVID-19 crisis. The dialogue served as a platform to establish a Transatlantic Alliance for Digital Governance and the AIWS City, an all-digital virtual city based on the standards and norms of “the Social Contract for the AI Age”, “People Centered Economy”, “Trustworthy Economy” and “Intellectual Society”. Lastly, the discussion addressed the creation of an initiative to monitor governments as well as companies in using AI and to generate an AI Ethics Index at all levels.