FocusTsinghua University International AI Cooperation and Governance Forum 2020 kicked off

Hosted by Tsinghua University’s Institute for AI International Governance (I-AIIG), with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the international supporting organization, the inaugural Tsinghua University International AI Cooperation and Governance Forum kicked off on December 18th.

Designed as a leading platform to engage in a global conversation on international AI cooperation and governance, the forum was joined by thought leaders and practitioners from all over the world, including top officials from governments and international organizations, prominent academics, and executives from the tech sector.

Prof. Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Ms. Beate Trankmann, Resident Representative of UNDP China, delivered the welcome remarks for the forum. Mr. Wang Qinmin, Vice-chairman of the 12th CPPCC National Committee and Director of the National Committee of E-government Experts, delivered an opening speech.

Five top officials from international organizations and Chinese government made keynote speeches in the opening ceremony, including Fabrizio Hochschild, UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser for the UN Secretary-General on digital cooperation; Zhao Houlin, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union(ITU); Xu Jing, Director General of the Department of Strategy and Planning, Ministry of Science and Technology; Wang Xiaolong, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Zhu Xiumei, Deputy Director General of Science and Technology Department, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The Forum also attracted prominent international speakers include Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum; Adrian Weller, Programme Director for AI at The Alan Turing Institute; Yolanda Gil, former President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI); Max Tegmark, MIT professor and Co-Founder of the Future of Life Institute, etc.

Experts from Tsinghua who spoke at the Forum include Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Turing Award Winner and Dean of Tsinghua Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences; Zhang Bo, Director of Tsinghua Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Fu Ying, former Vice Foreign Minister of China and Honorary Dean of I-AIIG; Ya-Qin Zhang, Dean of Tsinghua University’s AI Industry Research Institute; Xue Lan, Dean of I-AIIG etc.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, various AI technologies have been used for critical functions such as virus detection and diagnosis, contact tracing, facial recognition and recovery monitoring. However, the increased spotlight on these technologies has also raised broader concerns about the balance between benefits and potential risks, both economically and socially.

The forum aims to provide an opportunity to discuss international AI cooperation and governance, which are essential to ensure that the development of AI serves to build a sustainable and inclusive future and works for people, rather than exacerbating challenges and creating new divides.

(From Institute for AI International Governance)