Annex B: G7 Innovation Ministers’ Statement on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) represents a set of complex and powerful technologies that will touch or transform every sector and every industry and will help society address some of our most challenging problems. Moreover, the productivity gains from AI technologies are expected to be substantial. Innovations in AI technologies have the potential to introduce new sources of economic growth especially in countries struggling with an aging population or economies highly dependent on traditional levers of production, including by helping overcome hurdles to full participation in the workforce and in our societies. Realizing the broad potential of AI technologies will require thoughtful investments in entrepreneurialism, education, and the labour market to promote relevant skills and knowledge to participate in jobs of the futureFootnote 1 and to adapt to changes in demand for skills.

At the G7 ICT and Industry Minister’s Meeting in Torino, Italy, under the G7 Italian Presidency in 2017, Ministers of G7 countries expressed a vision of human-centric AI for innovation and economic growth.

Preamble

We, the Innovation Ministers of the G7, met in Montreal, Quebec from March 27-28, 2018. In:

  • REAFFIRMING our commitments set out in the Ministerial Declaration on the Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth and Social Prosperity (“Cancún Declaration”) organized by the OECD ;
  • ENDORSING the policy pillars and key policy priorities identified in the G7 People-Centered Action Plan on Innovation, Skills and Labor;
  • CONFIRMING our resolve to contribute towards multi-stakeholder dialogue in the G7 ICT and Industry Ministers’ Declaration: Making the Next Production Revolution Inclusive, Open and Secure (2017)(“Torino Declaration”), with particular regard to Annex 2, G7 Multistakeholder Exchange on Human Centric AI for our Societies, reiterating the principles enumerated in the Torino Declaration which we believe underpin growth in the global digital economy, and taking note of the Chairs’ Summary of the Innovators’ Strategic Advisory Board on People-Centered Innovation to G7 Leaders;
  • BUILDING ON the debate initiated by the 2016 G7 ICT Ministerial in Takamatsu, national and international events that have been held to foster exchange of views (for example “A.I. R&D Guidelines” organized by the Conference of Advisory Experts of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications);
  • REAFFIRMING the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Gender Equality Declaration of the Ministers in Taormina in 2017 and recognizing that gender equity is a key component of a strong economy and progressive society,

the Innovation Ministers of the G7 seek to build upon the common vision of human-centric AI, a vision which requires care in the development and deployment of this promising technology. With reference to the G7 ICT Ministerial in Japan in 2016 and the G7 ICT and Industry Ministerial in Italy in 2017, this year, G7 members shine a spotlight on the interconnected relationship between supporting economic growth from AI innovation; increasing trust in and adoption of AI; and promoting inclusivity in AI development and deployment.

Supporting economic growth from AI innovation is about using AI applications to help improve economic performance. AI is expected to generate trillions of dollars in the global economy annually by as early as 2030.Footnote 2 G7 countries recognize that market-led AI innovations will positively impact all of our countries in key areas such as health, the environment, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, security and governance. These gains will be realized through policies that foster entrepreneurship in AI technologies, that prepare people for social and labour market demand changes, including those who are at risk of being left out, as well as policies that build open and fair market environments, including the promotion and protection of free flow of information. This approach includes opposition to data localization requirements that are unjustifiable, taking into account legitimate public policy objectives, as well as generally applicable policies that require access to, or transfer of, source code of mass market software as a condition of market access, while recognizing the legitimate interest of Governments in assessing the security of these products. Such an approach creates a business environment that invites innovation while providing predictability in commercial relations, including in law.

Increasing trust in and adoption of AI are necessary ingredients for economic growth and the fuel for future innovations that can benefit society as a whole. G7 members recognize that trust and adoption can be encouraged through a robust multistakeholder approach involving: education initiatives and public awareness of the benefits of AI technologies; increasing the participation of women in the workforce; promoting safe and reliable AI applications in the marketplace; giving early considerations to impacts on citizens, including through respecting privacy as a fundamental value and respecting applicable frameworks for privacy and data protection; mechanisms to ensure the accountability of AI systems; enabling industry-led processes to promote safety and vigilance in design and implementation of AI systems; efforts to prevent the misuse of AI applications that could cause harm; initiatives, notably those led by industry, that promote guidance on human intervention in AI decision-making processes, among others.

Promoting inclusivity in AI development and deployment is critical to ensuring broad public support for AI adoption and ensuring all members of society can benefit from this technology. G7 members endorse efforts, notably those led by industry, towards multi-stakeholder engagement on AI technologies by bringing together industry, governments, academia and civil society, including social groups representing diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations such as women, LGBTQ, ethnic and religious groups, persons with disabilities, seniors and youth, and indigenous persons. These types of engagements can help to create more representative and useful AI systems that will be relevant and responsive to society as a whole, and fuel innovation from all parts of the citizenry.

To make advances in each of these related areas, G7 members will endeavor to:

  • invest in basic and early-stage applied R&D to produce AI innovations, and support entrepreneurship in AI and labour force readiness for automation through: international academic exchanges; exchanges of professionals; knowledge and skill development; investments in lifelong learning; guidance and employment services; access to capital; incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises to pursue AI innovations; removal of unjustifiable administrative and regulatory barriers for applied AI; and, facilitation of national and international business networking and collaboration opportunities. Share best practices between G7 countries.
  • continue to encourage research, including solving societal challenges, advancing economic growth, and examining ethical considerations of AI, bias in datasets, bias experienced through interacting with AI systems, as well as broader issues such as those related to automated decision-making; communicate and promote multistakeholder dialogue on the results of the research to all stakeholders, including community groups, market actors and other governments.
  • support public awareness efforts to communicate actual and potential benefits, and broader implications, of AI.
  • as a means to promote human-centric AI and commercial adoption of AI, continue to advance appropriate technical, ethical and technologically neutral approaches by: safeguarding privacy; investing in cybersecurity, the enforcement of applicable privacy legislation and communication of enforcement decisions; informing individuals about existing national bodies of law, including in relation to how their personal data may be used by AI systems; promoting R&D by industry in safety, assurance, data quality, and data security; and exploring the use of other transformative technologies to protect personal privacy and transparency.
  • support the free flow of information through the sharing of best practices and use cases on the provision of open, interoperable and safe access to government data for AI programming, support approaches to improve the quality of datasets, and promote international cooperation in data sharing, protection. Furthermore, we support industry-led voluntary international technical standards, developed in an open, transparent and consensus-based manner and in market-led approaches to promote interoperability.
  • disseminate this G7 statement globally to promote AI development and collaboration in the international arena.

Next Steps

Going forward, the Innovation Ministers of the G7 decided to:

  • further the efforts and objectives of this Statement;
  • facilitate multistakeholder dialogue and collaboration on artificial intelligence to inform future policy discussions by G7 governments, supported by the OECD in its multistakeholder convener role; and
  • convene a multistakeholder conference on AI hosted by Canada in the fall of 2018, supported by the time-limited innovation working group, at which the work of multistakeholder exchanges may be presented, and where parties will further discuss how to harness the positive transformational potential of AI to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.