By Leading with AI Team
(Source: Pixabay: Matryx)
In many countries across the globe, 2021 has been an eventful year for regional and national policy initiatives to address artificial intelligence (AI). As discussed in some of the articles in our newsletter this year, we have seen examples of cross-national investigations to learn lessons from elsewhere to inform policy at home. In this edition, we provide a list of some of the current key AI policies and initiatives to provide a reference for our readers.
Canada – In 2017, Canada was the first country to establish a national AI strategy, known as the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which is led by CIFAR and funded by the Government of Canada, with support from Facebook and the RBC Foundation. The objectives of the strategy are to: “Attain and retain world-class AI researchers; foster a collaborative AI ecosystem; advance national AI initiatives; and understand the societal implications of AI.” The 2020 impact report can be found here.
China – In July 2017, The State Council of China released its New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan to build a domestic AI industry and become an AI innovation centre by 2030. On the same year, the AI Plan Promotion Office and AI Strategy Advisory Committee were established. In August 2021, China published a draft of its Internet Information Service Algorithmic Recommendation Management Provisions. The document defined algorithmic recommendation technology as, “the use of generative or synthetic–type, personalized recommendation–type, ranking and selection–type, search filter–type, dispatching and decision-making–type, and other such algorithmic technologies to provide information content to users.” In September 2021, the National Governance Committee for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence published its Ethical Norms for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence.
European Union (EU) – The EU’s approach to artificial intelligence includes a three-pronged approach: a Communication on Fostering a European Approach to Artificial Intelligence; the Coordinated Plan with Member States: 2021 update; and a proposal for an AI Regulation laying down harmonised rules for the EU (Artificial Intelligence Act).
India – The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence is a discussion paper published in June 2018 by the Policy Think Tank of the government (NITI Aayog) and focuses on “five sectors that are envisioned to benefit the most from AI in solving societal needs: a) healthcare, b) agriculture, c) education, d) smart cities and infrastructure and e) smart mobility and transportation.” The related Approach Document for India – Principles for Responsible AI was published in February 2021.
Japan – Japan’s AI strategy is central to the country’s overarching initiative Society 5.0, which is "a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space. It follows the hunting society (Society 1.0), agricultural society (Society 2.0), industrial society (Society 3.0), and information society (Society 4.0)." In Society 5.0, AI will have a central role in analysing big data from cyberspace, where people, systems and things are connected. As the Japanese Cabinet Office puts it, “This is a society centered on each and every person and not a future controlled and monitored by AI and robots.”
Singapore – Singapore’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, published in November 2019, is part of its larger Smart Nation strategy, with its three pillars: digital society, digital government, and digital economy. AI Singapore (AISG) is a national AI programme launched by the National Research Foundation (NRF). As described on the website, its aim is, “to anchor deep national capabilities in AI thereby creating social and economic impacts, grow the local talent, build an AI ecosystem, and put Singapore on the world map.” It reflects a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SGInnovate, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS).
United Kingdom – Earlier this year the UK launched its National AI Strategy, which builds on the UK’s strengths, but also represents the start of a stepchange for AI in the UK, recognising the power of AI to increase resilience, productivity, growth and innovation across the private and public sectors. The UK’s National AI Strategy aims to:
(1) Invest and plan for the long-term needs of the AI ecosystem to continue our leadership as a science and AI superpower;
(2) Support the transition to an AI-enabled economy, capturing the benefits of innovation in the UK, and ensuring AI benefits all sectors and regions;
(3) Ensure the UK gets the national and international governance of AI technologies right to encourage innovation, investment, and protect the public and our fundamental values.
United States - The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 became a law on 1st January 2021 and provides a coordinated programme to “accelerate AI research and application for the Nation’s economic prosperity and national security”. The six strategic pillars of AI policy are innovation, advancing trustworthy AI, education and training, infrastructure, applications, and international cooperation. In November 2021, the Defense Innovation Unit published its Responsible AI Guidelines and a new effort was announced to create a Bill of Rights for an Automated Society.
In addition, the following documents provide important compendia and summaries:
OECD.AI Policy Observatory – The national AI policies and strategy section is a live repository of more than 700 AI policy initiatives from 60 countries, territories and the European Union.
ETH Zurich - Artificial Intelligence: the global landscape of ethics guidelines - This scientific article includes a comprehensive list of ethical guidelines for AI by country of issuer, as of 2019. The list includes international, regional (European), and national initiatives, predominantly coming from the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Germany, and Finland. As the authors note, African and South American countries are not represented independently from international or supra-national organisations.
About Leading with AI
Leading with AI is a weekly newsletter for artificial intelligence enthusiasts learning about its implementation across the world. Our team members and contributors are based in Africa, Germany, India, Indonesia, Spain, UK, and UAE. Subscribe below to receive the newsletter in your email inbox every Thursday.