Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the world faster than the world can mitigate intensifying geopolitical divisions and socio-economic disparities. As technological change outpaces regulatory policy, no common framework has yet emerged to coordinate the numerous governance approaches across multiple national contexts. The concerns and interests of the citizens and civil society of the Global South in particular must be prioritized to reverse increasing fragmentation in the governance of algorithmic platforms and AI-powered systems worldwide.
Societies in the Global South are entitled to both equitable economic benefits and meaningful protections from powerful platforms and tools largely controlled by corporations based in the Global North. This equity must be predicated upon what we define as an “AI constitutionalism”, that approaches AI and big data as fundamental resources within the modern economy.
Informed by discussions within a multidisciplinary and international working group – with a strong representation from the Global South – composed of 21 experts assembled by Initiate: Digital Rights in Society and the Paris Peace Forum, this paper proposes that a rights-based approach should guide the development of high-level international protocols and conventions that will set policymaking standards for AI’s development and deployment, worldwide.
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We asked 6 members of the Working Group, coming from all over the world (Pakistan, USA, Canada, India, Chile, Egypt) what are the most critical algorithmic governance issues facing the Global South. From their national perspective, they answered this fundamental question and provided insights on why policy makers, members of international organizations, civil society actors and academics should read this unprecedented report.
Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan) and member of the independent Facebook Oversight Board