Paris, 28 September 2023 – On International Day for Universal Access to Information, the Forum on Information and Democracy announces its latest international policy working group investigating the impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our democratic information ecosystem. Composed of 14 renowned global researchers and experts from diverse academic and applied disciplines, the Group will conduct broad consultations to inform development of urgent policy recommendations to prevent and mitigate harmful impacts of AI systems on the information ecosystem – a core element of our democracies.
This reputable group will develop policy recommendations for government, civil society and the private sector to address unintended, unanticipated and ignored challenges that AI systems pose for the information and communication space, especially with respect to its democratic foundations. This group will address the development and deployment of AI systems, accountability regimes and the governance of AI.
“We are deeply grateful for the commitment of this group of distinguished researchers who continue to play a pivotal role in shaping essential policies concerning AI systems”, said Christophe Deloire, Chair of the Forum on Information and Democracy. “Their efforts are crucial in shaping the future of our common information space and avoiding the mistakes of the past where technological developments were both faster than democratic responses and driven largely by private interests for private ends. Their efforts will ensure that citizens, and the impacts on their democracies, are front and center of policy considerations and policy actions.”
Following a comprehensive consultation process with the Forum’s civil society coalition and validation by its Board of Directors, this current policy development process responds to the demands of the 51 State signatories of the Partnership for Information and Democracy to develop democratic principles and recommendations to govern AI in the information space.
The Forum on Information and Democracy – receiving its mandate from the Partnership – works to ensure that our democratic institutions decide the ethical use of new technologies and formulate necessary democratic safeguards. This includes the development, deployment and use of AI systems in ways that bolster a democratic and trustworthy information space. The responsibility to set these rules cannot be left to the profit motive alone. The history of social media illustrates the danger of allowing tech companies to independently set rules and ethical uses.
The report and its policy recommendations of the Policy Working Group on Artificial Intelligence and its implications for the Information and Communication Space is set to be published in early 2024.
The group of 14 renowned experts guiding the development of recommendations includes (in alphabetical order):
- Rachel Adams, Director, African Observatory on Responsible AI, Research ICT Africa (South Africa)
- Linda Bonyo, Founding Director at Africa Law Tech and the Founder of the Lawyers Hub (Kenya)
- Daniel Innerarity, Chair in AI & Democracy at the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute (Italy)
- Alistair Knott, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
- Syed Nazakat, Media entrepreneur, founder and CEO of DataLEADS (India)
- Alice Oh, Professor of Computer Science, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Korea)
- Alejandro Pisanty, Professor at Facultad de Quimica, National University of Mexico (Mexico)
- Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO (France)
- Achim Rettinger, Professor, Knowledge Representation Learning, University of Trier (Germany)
- Edward Santow, Industry Professor And Director, Policy and Governance Human Technology Institute, University of Technology Sydney (Australia)
- Laura Schertel Mendes, Lawyer and Professor of Civil Law at the University of Brasilia (Brazil) and Senior Researcher at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
- Jonathan Stray, Senior Scientist at the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI (USA)
- Suzanne Vergnolle, Associate Professor in Technology law at the Cnam Institute (France)
- Claes de Vreese, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Society, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)