22 Aug 2019

G7 Summit in Biarritz: Recommendations from the global digital industry

 

Leading industry organisations of G7 countries herewith would like to encourage the G7 leaders to focus on the main two challenges of successful digital transformation during the the Biarritz Summit. 

Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) 

Trust and collaboration in the area of Cybersecurity is the oil lubricating the mechanisms that enable the free flows of data, and the driver of growth and prosperity of our economies and societies. We urge governments and regulators to identify and share experiences related to regulatory criteria and mechanisms that allow data to flow while ensuring high levels of trust, including by way of risk-based approaches and tight cooperation with business. 

Recommendations: 

  • Facilitate the free flow of data across borders and enhance trust throughout. 
  • Extend high-level privacy protection that ensures international interoperability, technology neutrality, transparency and responsible data handling practices in keeping with OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. 
  • Enhance ubiquitous cybersecurity at all times by utilising risk-based, outcome-focused and technology-neutral approaches grounded in global, consensus-based, industry-led and internationally recognised standards and best practices. 
  • Ensure that consumers and citizens are protected from fraudulent or deceptive commercial activities on the internet through cooperation between national consumer and citizen protection bodies. 
  • Ensure transparent and predictable regulation and promote competition and innovation while protecting intellectual property, including source code, encryption keys, algorithms and new technologies, including with respect to AI. 

AI for All 

Building on DFFT, digital technologies like IoT, Big Data, AI, robotics and Blockchain have been transforming business, large and small, and all walks of society, from healthcare to agriculture, mobility, energy, government, etc. 

One key challenge lies with making the most of the huge data-processing potential of AI. The OECD, the EU, the governments of Canada and Japan and many others have worked hard to outline ethical guidelines and human-centric principles for AI: harnessing and applying data in line with these guidelines is the next step. As an example, the EU has developed an agile ‘policy sandboxing’ process allowing businesses to ‘test’ the principles for ethical AI using a comprehensive, detailed assessment list in the AI development phase. 

The EU’s efforts to put all policy making recommendations through a reality check and rigorous fact-based exercise are indeed meant to avoid putting into law anything that could be hasty and short-sighted. We encourage governments to join the abovementioned process and to take steps to enable data use so that business, academics and others can test these principles in the context of actual business operations. 

In the vast majority of cases, existing laws on human rights, consumer protection, data protection and cybersecurity that promote diversity and prevent discrimination already provide citizens in the EU and in G7 countries with adequate protection. Further efforts from the International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI) created by Canada and France to “support and guide the responsible development of AI” will encourage global collaboration on innovation, research and investment in this respect. 

The fundamental stepping stone of trust cannot stand alone, and we urge Governments to raise the bar in national education systems, focusing on retraining opportunities and diverting more public funds to AI development and deployment. 

Governments need also to continue to support ethical and responsible AI developments and application, and to increase efforts to foster data availability and interoperability to improve accuracy and limit bias and errors in machine learning and data analytics. 

Both industry and public sector have a vital role to play in using AI to develop inclusive solutions for a broad range of issues, such as energy consumption, climate change, and health care. Both are committed to delivering trustworthy and human-centric AI. Successful dissemination of these solutions throughout society will elevate citizens’ quality of life and help realise a sustainable society that respects diversity and the rights of each and every individual. 

Recommendations: 

  • Closely communicate and align approaches and policies on ethical principles and guidelines, including work being done at national, OECD, and EU level (i.e. ethical guidelines pilot testing) during the G7 Summit. Ensure the responsible and ethical design and deployment of AI systems, including by way of addressing safety mechanisms, using robust and representative data, promoting transparency, and enabling greater interoperability. 
  • Support the development and use of global, consensus-based, industry-led AI standards to enable technical interoperability, non-discriminatory market access, and innovation. 
  • Facilitate data use and access to open format and machine-readable data sets as a means to foster innovation and competitiveness in AI technologies and enhance and generate business opportunities for SMEs. 
  • Promote cooperation on Research and Innovation and common programs to support digital skills for both young generations and people who are working and need to get new skills. Programs allowing the exchange of researchers among Universities would also facilitate new forms of cooperation and the chance to develop AI solutions for a sustainable society. 

The signatories to this statement hope that all G7 leaders will continue to support the high ambitions described above and that the Biarritz Summit Declaration will fully reflect their strong commitment to this effect. 

Patrice Chazerand
Director for Digital Trade and Taxation
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