Emerging Technologies

AI Governance Alliance unveils inaugural report on equitable AI strategies

The AI Governance Alliance issues a call to action to address the digital divide and foster inclusive progress in AI.

The AI Governance Alliance issues a call to action to address the digital divide and foster inclusive progress in AI. Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cathy Li
Head, AI, Data and Metaverse; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
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Emerging Technologies

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • The AI Governance Alliance (AIGA) is committed to responsible AI development, application and governance through three core workstreams.
  • Three new World Economic Forum publications provide recommendations for constructing secure systems and technologies.
  • While AI is key to confronting global challenges – it also needs to be inclusive progress - which is the call to action to partners and coalitions from AIGA to address the digital divide.

In an era characterized by profound transformation, technological innovation assumes a central role, propelling us toward a new frontier. The trajectory of Artificial Intelligence (AI), unfolding since the latter half of the 20th century, has culminated in a groundbreaking milestone with the advent of generative AI (genAI). This cutting-edge technology, distinguished by its remarkable capabilities for creation, analysis and innovation, signifies a paradigm shift with implications reaching far beyond traditional sectors like healthcare and entertainment.

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As the evolving capabilities of AI drive innovation, they instigate a revolutionary wave across global economies and societies. The exponential pace of this revolution brings forth novel economic opportunities, but also underscores an inherent commitment to social responsibility. The transformative power of AI demands meticulous consideration as it reshapes industries and societal frameworks. Faced with this imperative, leaders on the international stage, spanning countries and sectors, need to unite in a collaborative effort to ensure the responsible development, deployment, and adoption of AI for shared and collective benefit.

A multistakeholder approach

In response to these challenges, the World Economic Forum launched the AI Governance Alliance (AIGA) in June 2023 – a pioneering collaboration that brings together industry leaders, governments, academic institutions, and civil society organizations. Born from the Presidio Recommendations following the Responsible AI Leadership Summit in April 2023, AIGA is dedicated to advancing thoughtful solutions and approaches to AI governance. The Alliance manifests a shared commitment to responsible AI development, ensuring ethical considerations at every stage of the AI value chain, from development to application and governance.

Structured around three core workstreams – Safe Systems and Technologies, Responsible Applications and Transformation, and Resilient Governance and Regulation – the Alliance employs a comprehensive end-to-end approach to tackle key AI governance challenges and opportunities. AIGA seeks to foster diversity by uniting various perspectives and stakeholders, facilitating thoughtful debates, ideation, and implementation strategies for inclusive and sustainable long-term solutions.

Image: AI Governance Alliance

AI Governance Summit and inaugural publication

In November of 2023, the Forum held the AI Governance Summit in San Francisco, which underscored a collective commitment by participating stakeholders to advance a shared and responsible trajectory linked to AI innovation, governance and transformation.

A significant milestone of the summit was how it contributed to laying the groundwork for the alliance's inaugural publication. The AI Governance Alliance – Briefing Paper Series, a culmination of collective expertise, symbolizes the Alliance's unwavering commitment to a multistakeholder approach in addressing contemporary AI governance challenges. This publication, in the format of three briefing papers and corresponding to each of the alliance’s tracks, encapsulates the ethos of responsible AI development, setting the stage for ongoing dialogues that go beyond geographical boundaries and organizational affiliations.

Presidio AI Framework: Towards Safe Generative AI Models: This paper, developed by the Safe Systems and Technology track and in collaboration with IBM Consulting, analyses challenges and opportunities arising from genAI, emphasizing concerns such as the absence of a standardized perspective on the generative AI model lifecycle. The introduction of the Presidio AI Framework serves as a cornerstone, advocating for early risk identification, shared responsibility and proactive risk management through robust guardrails.

Unlocking value from Generative AI: Guidance for Responsible Transformation: This paper developed by the Responsible Applications and Transformation track in collaboration with IBM Consulting, explores the rapid adoption and impact of genAI following OpenAI’s ChatGPT launch. Recommending a use-case-based evaluation, it underscores the importance of multistakeholder governance, transparent communication, operational structures and value-based change management for responsible genAI implementation, offering guidance to leaders for a scalable and responsible integration into organizations.

Generative AI Governance: Shaping our Collective Global Future: Navigating the global AI governance landscape, this paper, developed by the Resilient Governance and Regulations track in collaboration with Accenture, stresses the imperative of international cooperation and inclusive access. It evaluates national approaches, addresses key debates on genAI, and advocates for international coordination and standards to prevent fragmentation.

Empowering AI globally: A unified call to action

Since its inception, AIGA has brought together over 200 organizations and thought leaders, fostering responsible AI practices across systems design, industry applications and governance.

As developed nations race to capitalize on AI innovation, the digital divide must be revisited to avoid some nations falling even further behind. The advent of advanced genAI solutions, could come with the risk of widening the gap in terms of access and empowerment, particularly in the Global South. Several grassroots efforts already operate to address such issues, while the work of the AI Governance Alliance seeks to elevate efforts, calling for a global coalition and solution.

Drawing on its distinctive role in convening global multistakeholder communities, the Forum urges partners to unite and contribute resources to nurture inclusive AI ecosystems. That includes enhancing access to critical elements such as data, models and computing, while continuing to work on shared access, connectivity and interoperability. It is vital that local education programmes that target talent development and advance local innovation ecosystems are carefully nurtured and supported.

AIGA’s commitment lies in aligning companies and the public sector to propel greater inclusivity and innovation, to ensure that AI stays a positive transformative power for humans and for societies globally.


How is the World Economic Forum creating guardrails for Artificial Intelligence?

As nations and industries align to steer the ethical development of AI, it is evident that dialogue alone is insufficient, while concrete action is crucial. Through multistakeholder engagement and the formulation of actionable plans and guidelines, the goal of the AI Governance Alliance is to support a future where the downsides for AI are sufficiently mitigated and the upsides are broadly shared. Decision-makers, industry leaders, policymakers and thought leaders from around the world are invited to actively participate in efforts to shape an AI-driven future that upholds shared human values and fosters inclusive societal progress for everyone.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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