World wants higher tech governance: WEF director

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfold quickly final yr, so did the world’s reliance on applied sciences which in flip accelerated disruptions in enterprise, elevated stress on digital infrastructure and connectivity and introduced up underlying inequities in addition to uncovered knowledge vulnerabilities.

All of those have to be extra successfully addressed if tech positive aspects are to profit many, mentioned Mr Jeremy Jurgens, the World Economic Forum’s managing director and head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, who’s spearheading the discussion board’s Global Technology Governance Summit (GTGS) that kicks off as we speak.

It is the discussion board’s inaugural summit on the problem. More than 2,000 leaders from authorities, enterprise and civil society will collect till Thursday for the digital assembly, which is collectively hosted with Japan. Participants will talk about key points reminiscent of moral synthetic intelligence, blockchain and knowledge privateness along with different applied sciences powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The discussions can be a key function of talks when the World Economic Forum (WEF) meets in Singapore in August.

“What we’ve seen over the last year is that the pandemic has accelerated a number of the technological and social shifts that were already under way, but it just made them more prominent and more pronounced and exacerbated, and this touches on everything from the virtualisation of services and experiences,” Mr Jurgens informed The Straits Times.

This “also put huge demands on our digital infrastructure, on our connectivity. And unfortunately, our infrastructure and our connectivity has not been equally placed, so the pandemic has also highlighted or exacerbated some of the underlying inequities and inequalities that take place there”, he mentioned, including that it was essential now to grasp the challenges and alternatives throughout the pandemic.

GTGS discussions will see stakeholders dive deep into a number of points together with the way forward for knowledge economic system, synthetic intelligence (AI) and mobility in addition to measures to shut the digital divide, making knowledge work for all, attending to internet zero and countering dangerous content material.

The one which deserves essentially the most scrutiny, from the view of impacting individuals’s lives, is that of the governance of information and the power to safe it such that it’s used for its meant functions and isn’t being misused, mentioned Mr Jurgens.

Machine studying and AI that powers a number of different domains is the following most essential, he mentioned.

“So if you’re living in Singapore or Indonesia or Malaysia, if you have an AI radiologist, was it trained on people with similar backgrounds and say, genetic basis, or is it potentially trained in the Silicon Valley or in London where it doesn’t necessarily represent the audience that’s using those services? I would look at AI machine learning as the second most important area for us to consider,” he mentioned in an interview with The Straits Times.

“The query is, do we’ve got processes in place that when a brand new state of affairs emerges that we are able to shortly perceive the implications, develop an strategy on how we are able to deal with that and shortly put it into motion. And that is the place it is essential (to have) what we name a type of a multi-stakeholder strategy.

“We live in a deeply interconnected world and the richness of that dialogue and discussion can help us create, say, more effective approaches that are also more equitable and more fair to everybody.”

  • Major governance gaps in use of applied sciences worldwide

  • Key challenges rising throughout applied sciences powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution:

    • Limited or lack of regulation: There is a scarcity of preparedness for the long-term penalties of synthetic intelligence (AI) and different applied sciences.

    • Adverse impact of know-how via misuse or unintended use: Bad actors have new instruments to affect the general public or unjustly hurt people, organisations and governments.

    • Liability and accountability of know-how: Assigning accountability of applied sciences reminiscent of autonomous methods or blockchain-based nameless organisations.

    • Privacy and knowledge sharing: Absence of shared technical requirements or agreed-upon governance frameworks for sharing data.

    • Access and use by legislation enforcement: Lack of guidelines on how legislation enforcement businesses can use knowledge generated by applied sciences

    • Cyber and different safety considerations: Without a market incentive to construct safe Internet of Things merchandise, markets threat encouraging a race to the underside of technological insecurity.

    • Human supervision: Lack of readability about how a lot human involvement there must be in AI-powered methods.

    • Cross-border inconsistencies and restricted knowledge flows: As multi-party, cross-border enterprise fashions proliferate, the authorities might want to know which legal guidelines govern transactions, determination rights, consensus and mental property.


Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who can be the Republic’s Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative and a co-chair for this assembly, will lead discussions on “Technology Governance Outlook and Rebuilding the Trust to Travel” as we speak.

The Straits Times will host a panel dialogue on “Shaping the Future of AI” on the assembly.

Tech editor Irene Tham will talk about the problem with Mr Mark Brayan, chief govt of AI knowledge firm Appen; Mr Vilas Dhar, president and trustee of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, USA – a philanthropic organisation bridging the frontiers of AI, knowledge science and social influence; Dr Haniyeh Mahmoudian, international synthetic intelligence ethicist with AI platform DataRobot; and Mr Jason Matheny, deputy assistant to the US President for know-how and nationwide safety.


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