Co-authored by Adam Perkins (Trainee Solicitor)

On June 15, 2020, the Government of the United Kingdom issued a joint statement announcing the creation of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) along with 14 other founding members, including the European Union and the United States of America.

As announced, GPAI is an international partnership that will aim to promote the responsible development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a "human-centric" manner. This means developing and deploying AI in a way that is consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms and shared democratic values. GPAI's aim is "to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities."

The values which GPAI endorses reflect the core AI principles as promoted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the May 2019 OECD Council Recommendation on AI. The OECD will be the host of GPAI's Secretariat in Paris, and GPAI will draw upon the OECD's international AI policy leadership. It is thought that this integration will strengthen the evidence base for policy aimed at responsible AI. In addition, GPAI has stated that it is looking forward to working with other interested countries and partners.

Centres of Expertise in Montreal and Paris will provide research and administrative support to GPAI, while the GPAI Secretariat will lend support to GPAI's governing bodies, consisting of a council and steering committee. GPAI will engage in scientific and technical work and analysis, bringing together experts within academia, industry and government to collaborate across the following four initial working groups:

  1. Responsible AI
  2. Data governance
  3. The future of work
  4. Innovation and commercialization.

The outlook of these working groups appears to reflect GPAI's recognition of the potential for AI to act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and development, providing that it can be done in an accountable, transparent and responsible manner.

GPAI's short term priority, however, is to investigate how AI can be used to help with the response to, and recovery from, COVID-19.

The first annual GPAI Multistakeholder Experts Group Plenary is planned to take place in December 2020.

The creation of GPAI is an exciting new step in the global effort to harvest the possibilities which AI offers in an ethical and responsible way, minimizing the risks to individuals' rights and freedoms. We will be monitoring its progress.

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