Rockefeller Foundation Workshop on Responsible AI Futures

The Rockefeller Foundation has committed itself to shape the design and impact of Artificial Intelligence on Society with a series of workshops and vision documents. The first in its series – ‘Designing a Responsible AI Future’ just took place in Bellagio Italy on Oct 9-12 ,2019. I was invited to contribute to this effort alongside technologists, thought leaders, academics, and artists, although admittedly, while diverse in their disciplines and focus, were primarily from the Anglo-Saxon region. 

So the conversation was dominated by United States concerns and issues with an emphasis on decentralization of tech, and focus on the harmful effects of fintech, facial recognition, and other innovations as a means of building a responsible AI. While undoubtedly accountability matters very much so, from a global perspective, the opportunities of AI, and the importance of convergence of diverse platforms into these hyper-ecosystems emerge from the vantage point of scarce resources and thereby to push for efficiency and everyday governance, close relations between the private and the public sector as part of a larger development paradigm and most importantly, to leverage on the motivations of the users and their high enthusiasm for all things tech which is quite the opposite of the typical mindset nowadays among users in the global north.

Either way, was very informative in mapping these perspectives and understanding these overarching biases in policy and practice in the Global North, particularly among Europeans and Americans.

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