Schwarzman College of Computing launches AI Policy Forum

Forum will bring together global stakeholders to ‘move from AI principles to practice’

The Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC) has launched a yearlong AI Policy Forum starting this fall.

Provost Martin A. Schmidt PhD ’88 and SCC Dean Dan Huttenlocher PhD ’88 wrote in an Oct. 19 email to the MIT community that the forum “will engage a broad set of stakeholders with the goal of moving the global conversation on AI policy from principles to implementation.”  

The AI Policy Forum website writes that the forum will develop a policy framework building on “high-level principles on social and ethical issues such as privacy, fairness, bias, transparency, and accountability.” Additionally, the forum aims to “have real impact in the world of AI policy, as measured by clear action from governments and companies.”

SCC Director of Communications Terri Park wrote in an email to The Tech that the forum will begin with “a series of preparatory task forces that will explore some of the most pressing issues of AI policy — mobility, finance, healthcare, climate change, and food supply.” Moreover, the specific policy issues addressed will be “specific — or granular — enough, while also being relevant across countries, regions and cities.”

Each task force will be “chaired by an MIT researcher” and include “a diverse range of technical and policy experts from around the world.” Park wrote that “the charge of the task forces is to present a report at the end of the period which will feed into the development of the AI Policy Framework.”

Park wrote that “these activities will culminate in the AI Policy Forum Summit, a two-day collaborative gathering (most likely taking place online) on May 6–7, 2021” to “discuss the progress of the task forces.” A fall 2021 “follow-on event” at MIT “will bring together leaders from across sectors and countries” to “provide a focal point for work to move from AI principles to AI practice.”

Park wrote that the goal of the forum is to “develop frameworks and tools for governments and companies to implement policies in concrete ways.” “This is the time to take the next step by building on those broader principles to help policymakers in making practical decisions about AI,” she added.

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