Global tech regulators join forces at RAID Digital and anticipate “big success” of RAID Physical in Brussels, 26 September

 Global tech regulators join forces at RAID Digital and anticipate “big success” of RAID Physical in Brussels, 26 September

Policymakers, regulators and industry from all over the world met at RAID Digital on 3rd May and resolved to build bridges to improve the Regulation of AI, the Internet and Data (RAID) worldwide.

The virtual conference precedes RAID Physical, which takes place in Brussels on 26th September.

“We need to build bridges to reach common ground through regulatory alignment of all digital policies,” said Didier Reynders, Justice Commissioner at the European Commission in his opening address. “I remain optimistic. When likeminded partners join forces, we can find solutions.”

“Accelerated digitalisation of economies poses significant challenges for governments,” Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister of Digital Transition and Telecommunications, France said in his opening address. “Governments can no longer simply go their own way. It is imperative that they join forces.”

“The RAID conference creates a fantastic venue for holding a vital dialogue about the future of tech regulation,” said Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO in her address. “The governance of AI is a global challenge and urgently needed as algorithmic systems have become an integral and growing part of our daily lives.”

Leading the opening panel, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Prime Minister, Honorary Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Fondation Prospective and Innovation said: “We can’t develop regulation and sovereignty without bridges with other countries and regions to discuss together. That is the main target of RAID – to have a new world vision about regulation.”

“This is a very timely event,” said Wonki Min, Visiting Professor, Soongsil University and former Ambassador for Science, Technology & Innovation, Republic of Korea. “We are witnessing the unexpectedly rapid progress of generative AI, so we need a framework to address this issue.”

The AI Act, on which the European Parliament had reached a provisional deal just a week earlier, was a hot topic on the agenda at RAID. Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitization, Spain: “The AI Act is not only about setting up a common regulatory and legal framework for artificial intelligence –it is a moral standard.”

“The AI Act could lead to a regulation effort at the global level,” said Brando Benifei MEP. “It might not be the same, but it could have similar elements.”

Joanna Conway, Partner & Internet Regulation (Legal), Deloitte highlighted a new proposal in the AI Act around a transparency requirement to disclose copyrighted sources used to train AI. “We expect that to be hotly debated. Because there are two sides to that discussion – there is the fundamental issue of innovation, and the need for data, and fair remuneration for creators. And there is a whole issue around trustworthy AI, and explainability is key to that.”

On the question of the extent to which AI might displace human work, Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs – EMEA & APJ, Workday said, “Our approach is to design AI to assist and augment employee functions, to enable them to focus on meaningful work. We have been an early and consistent supporter of regulation to set guardrails for the entire market.”

Speaking on Personalization and Fairness in the Modern Data Ecosystem, Cecilia Alvarez, Director of Privacy Policy Engagement, EMEA, Meta highlighted both the benefits of personalisation for individuals and organisations and the importance of assessing the features of each personalized model in context, i.e., assessing their guardrails and user controls, including but not limited to transparency. “This has been a part of the privacy journey of Meta’s systems,” she said, stressing the importance of having implemented guardrails and user controls, in particular, to address privacy and safety matters aiming at avoiding unintended harms such as safety issues or unfair discrimination and facilitating users’ agency.

“The area of personal data flow is moving at a speed which is leaving regulators standing in the dust,” said Alison Tilley, Commissioner, South African Information Regulator (SAIR). “The answers are not in the technology when the problem is in the technology. It’s about human rights, about the right to privacy and personality.”

“We need to move towards convergence,” said Katherine Harman-Stokes, Acting Director, Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, US Department of Justice. “I’m optimistic about the move to build bridges.”

Looking forward to RAID Physical, Jean-Pierre Raffarin said: “We can follow up our discussions in Brussels on 26th September, and I think it will be a “big success”