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Key Takeaways From The First GPAI Summit In Canada

Key Takeaways From The First GPAI Summit In Canada

The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) held its first summit in Canada on December 3rd & 4th, publishing for the first time the work done by five working groups and their long term visions.

With an aim to promote responsible development and use of AI, GPAI, an international and multi-stakeholder initiative, was established in 2020. Initiated by France and Canada, India was added to the group, later in July.


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The first summit inaugurated the work done by five working groups — Data Governance, Responsible Use of AI, AI and Pandemic, The Future of Work, and Innovation and Commercialisation.

These five working groups have been working to come up with preliminary recommendations and outputs, which they used as a reference to announce their priorities for the first half of 2021 and long-term visions. Reporting on the summit, the article presents some of these priorities and goals.

Data Governance

This working group was formed with an aim to provide expertise on data governance to promote data that can be used for AI and handled in a way that it is consistent with human rights, economic growth, and societal benefit among other things.

With an objective to work on a framework for GPAI’s work on data governance and an investigation into the role of data in AI, the group came up with several recommendations that could help advance the use of data in AI responsibly.

Going forward, the group will develop concept notes to identify the challenges to implementing these recommendations that could eventually help advance the projects and programmes of GPAI. For the long term vision, the working group will be defined by some of the outcomes of these concept notes and the GPAI’s overall mission.

AI & Pandemic Response

This working group was created as an ad-hoc response to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. It aims to create a favourable context for AI to contribute to drug discovery openly and equitably.

One of its main objectives is to facilitate solutions that can help us get back to everyday life from this pandemic. Hence, its first step was to analyse the AI being used during the pandemic. Based on the findings and resulting recommendations, the working group decided on its main short-term goals. 

The first one is to facilitate the development of a Global Health Data Governance Framework. This framework should help facilitate the utilisation of medical data for drug discovery. The other two included the adoption of AI applications through appropriate data governance frameworks and initiatives to be undertaken for immediate pandemic relief.

Responsible Development, Use & Governance of AI

This working group seeks to foster and contribute to the responsible development, governance, and use of human-centred AI systems, in congruence with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The preliminary research of the working group came up with policy recommendations to include the creation of committees to address identified issues and a committee on governance issues. To facilitate this, four committees on drug discovery and open science, climate change, education, and transparency of social media were decided by identifying where the current market structure and government policies are insufficient. A fifth transversal committee will be devoted to the issue of governance in the development of public-good oriented use of AI.

In the longer term, the working group plans to address another issue that came from the preliminary research of the working group, which is inclusion and diversity. The committee will work with a particular focus on the effects that AI can have on the most vulnerable individuals and groups among us.

Innovation & Commercialisation 

The main aim of this working group is to enable private and research organisations to carry out R&D in AI. The group also wants to tackle specific issues related to establishing trust in AI systems, since that is a significant factor in its adoption. At the same time, the group focuses on reducing the time of innovation to the market and enhancing R&D to address some of the most pressing issues the world faces.

In relation to these goals, the group studied and came up with findings for three sub-groups, including the private sector, public sector and new business models.

Based on the findings, in the medium term, this working group will try to identify ways to develop AI access to all, try to ensure a fair competition for all stakeholders and address the challenges faced by SMEs.

Future of Work

The main objective of this working group is to analyse how AI can be used to empower workers and increase productivity. It studies the impact of AI on work and how job quality, inclusiveness, health and safety can be preserved at the workplace while prepping workers and employees for the future.

The group analysed more than 50 use cases of AI at workplaces and summarised its findings in terms of the AI and worker dynamic.

Going forwards, the group wants to work on three things. Firstly an AI observatory for developing the collection of AI use cases, which then can be used as an updated empirical database for any kind of analysis with regards to AI at the workplace. Secondly, providing guidelines or recommendations that can promote economic growth and social welfare. And lastly, making a virtual AI living lab that will be a unique global web-based platform for knowledge transfer and transdisciplinary innovation in the field of AI in the workplace.

More Great AIM Stories

Kashyap Raibagi
Kashyap currently works as a Tech Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at

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