Canada, France governments announce Declaration of the International Panel on AI

Today the Government of Canada made public the Declaration of the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI), and released further details on the Panel that will see Canada and France working together to guide the responsible development of artificial intelligence.

“Today’s announcement is an important step toward ensuring that AI advancements reflect Canadians’ values.”

The Panel will be an organization dedicated to AI and plans to bring together some of the world’s “greatest global AI experts.” It hopes to be a global reference point in the development of AI, rooted in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.

“Today’s announcement is an important step toward ensuring that AI advancements reflect Canadians’ values. In partnership with France, Canada is leading the broader international AI community through the establishment of the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence that, once launched, will ensure that the economic and social benefits of artificial intelligence are shared by all citizens,” ISED Minister, Navdeep Bains stated.

The government noted that the IPAI is a direct outcome of the Canada-France Statement on Artificial Intelligence announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of France Emmanuel Macron prior to the 2018 G7 Summit. Bains and France’s Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Cédric O originally announced the mandate for the IPAI at the G7 Multistakeholder Conference on AI hosted in Montreal in December.

Bains and O made the declaration public, offering further details on the Panel, after the G7 Digital Ministerial meeting, held in Paris, France on Wednesday discussing ‘Building Digital Trust Together.’ During the meeting countries including Germany, Italy, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, as well as the European Union expressed interest in the IPAI. The Canadian government stated that it will “continue discussions with interested participants on the design of the Panel.”

The declaration states that participants in the IPAI will commit to the following values as they develop, use, and adopt AI:

  • Promote and protect a human-centric and ethical approach to AI, grounded in human rights
  • Support a multistakeholder approach to AI
  • Stimulate innovation, growth and well-being through AI
  • Align efforts on AI with the principles of sustainable development and the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Strengthen diversity and inclusion through AI
  • Foster transparency and openness of AI systems
  • Foster trust and accountability in AI
  • Promote and protect democratic values, processes and institutions
  • Bridge digital divides
  • Promote international scientific collaboration on AI

The IPAI is set to be formally launched later this year at the Biarritz Summit to be held in France in August. The Panel will include a steering committee, a secretariat, and working groups focused on different topics related to AI, including its technological development, impacts, and the future of work. The IPAI panel will convene for an annual conference of international AI experts and participants. France’s Secretary O also announced that France will be hosting a ‘Global Forum on AI for Humanity’ in October in Paris, aimed at informing possible priority areas for the IPAI.

Earlier this week the government also revealed the creation of an AI advisory council that includes some of Canada’s top AI researchers, Geoffrey Hinton, Yoshua Bengion, and Richard Sutton, as well as Foteini Agrafioti, head of Borealis AI and chief science officer for RBC. The council will form a committee focusing on commercializing value from Canadian-owned AI and data analytics, building on the work started by the Digital Industries Economic Strategy Table.

In April the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), also launched a series of workshops examining the effects of AI on society, in partnership with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The international AI & Society research workshops look to consider the economic, ethical, policy, and legal implications of artificial intelligence on society.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.