Top individuals from around the world convened this week at the World Government Summit organized by the AI Initiative from the Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, to discuss the agenda that should govern the next generation of governments. Yesterday, a select few of these leaders gathered in a secretive meeting to discuss the guidelines that nations should use as they help their people come to terms with no longer being the only sentient species on the planet.
The goal of the day was a noble one. The closed-door roundtable was intended to lay out guidelines for the global governance of AI — a roadmap for all nations to adopt reports Futurism.com who had a journalist attended the meeting.
It was a gathering that attracted some of the most powerful and influential minds in the world. Representatives from IEEE, OECD, and the U.N. Managers from IBM Watson, Microsoft, Facebook, OpenAI, Nest, Drive.ai, and Amazon AI. Governing officials from Italy, France, Estonia, Canada, Russia, Singapore, Australia, the UAE. The list goes on and on.
Futurism was fortunate enough to have exclusive access to the event: At times, the room was full of inspiration. At others, Futurism’s reporter found myself wading through the despair that surrounded me. Yet, even when the conversation turned to topics fraught with the most frustration — whether or not it’s possible to ban certain kinds of AI research; if humans could ever take power from truly sentient AI — there was hope.
The day is young. The dawn of AI is just beginning. We yet have time. When H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. opened the day, it was with great optimism. He addressed the crowd, which included luminaries such as Stuart Russell, Sui Yang Phang, Jaan Tallinn, IBM’s Francesca Rossi, and Amazon’s Anima Anandkuma, saying, “This day is going to change history. Whenever a group of individuals of such diverse backgrounds comes together, great things happen.”
He continued more soberly, noting that the last time the world faced a threat of this consequence, it resulted in the creation of the Manhattan project. But this time, he added, the stakes are higher. “I’m not trying to be negative, but it has to happen now.”
Throughout the day, the participants reiterated this sentiment: if we do not act now, we lose, and we will lose everything. “I’m not trying to be negative, but it has to happen now,” John C. Havens, Executive Director of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, noted during one break.
Image credit: With thanks to PBS.com
Recommended Space & Science Headlines