Last week international AI experts across industry, civil society, academia and government from over 60 countries came together virtually for the first plenary of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) in Montreal. At the end of an immensely challenging year, the members reflected on the power AI has to fuel discoveries, empower scientists and shape the world when used responsibly.
Our CEO Joanna Shields, proudly represented the United Kingdom as the newly elected Chair of the Steering Committee and the Multistakeholder Group. She shared the stage with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who co-led the effort to establish GPAI through their 2018 and 2019 G7 presidencies. The two world leaders addressed the summit with their vision to guide the responsible development and use of AI globally, with Trudeau describing how ‘we must not forget that positive change doesn’t happen by itself, we have to choose it’.
Joanna opened the final plenary of the day with a speech that echoed these words. She focused on the power human ingenuity and AI has to propel us forward, and ultimately benefit all. She described how AI is at its most powerful when it is the result of a fusion between humanity and technology, as well as the need for purposeful technology which reflects the values of our society.
She drew on her learnings from the first digital revolution and the necessity to ensure that frameworks and standards are embedded in our development of new AI. The purpose of GPAI is to provide these guiding principles because, in her words, ‘AI is a powerful force that we cannot afford to underestimate’.