by Will Knight
Can the world’s great powers agree on rules of the road for artificial intelligence?
This week, AI experts, politicians, and CEOs will gather to ask an important question: Can the United States, China, or anyone else agree on how artificial intelligence should be used and controlled?
The World Economic Forum, the international organization that brings together the world’s rich and powerful to discuss global issues at Davos each year, will host the event in San Francisco.
The WEF will also announce the creation of an “AI Council” designed to find common ground on policy between nations that increasingly seem at odds over the power and the potential of AI and other emerging technologies (see “Trump’s feud with Huawei and China could lead to the Balkanization of tech”).
The issue is of paramount importance given the current geopolitical winds. AI is widely viewed as critical to national competitiveness and geopolitical advantage. The effort to find common ground is also important considering the way technology is driving a wedge between countries, especially the United States and its big economic rival, China.
“Many see AI through the lens of economic and geopolitical competition,” says Michael Sellitto, deputy director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. “[They] tend to create barriers that preserve their perceived strategic advantages, in access to data or research, for example.”