Artificial Intelligence in Asia: What’s similar, What’s different? Findings from our AI workshops

20 Dec 2017 11:45h - 13:15h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the 12th Internet Governance Forum]

The session organised by Mr Kyung Sin Park, Open Net Korea, and Ms Vidushi Marda, Centre for Internet and Society, shared lessons learnt from three conferences in Asia on Artificial Intelligence (AI) covering topics such as ethics, legal implications, authorship and creativity and AI for social good. It also discussed how Asia sees and implements AI and how to optimie it for social gain under a legal frame work.

The moderator, Mr Malavika Jayaram, Digital Asia Hub, opened the session and said they had had three conferences in Honkong, Seoul and Tokyo as follows:

  •  Honkong event showed that there was no common language for AI in the Asian Region;
  • Seoul event  discussed ethics, safety and social impact and  held many discussions on privacy and security of AI; and
  • Tokyo was on AI for social good.

He said there were controversial examples of how AI is used. Many cases were presented concerning:

  • Using AI to manage disasters especially in connection with typhoons;
  • Insuring against natural disasters using microfinance;
  • AI disrupting education by causing people to learn on their own;
  • Companion robots removing the need for sex and making children;
  • Using AI to diagnose crop diseases in rural areas;
  • Robots going to school and saying “I really hope to be a good student. I am going to try my best”.

He added that iat the Korea conference there were key notes about living with AI with one speaker saying “Well we have actually lived with all kinds of intelligence in this region, with spirits, spirit animals, with gods and goddesses that have personalities. The idea of AI having a personality or machine learning or Sirri or Her as we have seen in the movies, that is not really unusual” . He continued that discussions in the conferences touched on the following points:

  • effects of AI on labor
  • mobility and different cultural content of policy and trust
  • innovations and Safety with AI
  • regulations that can make AI be good to the society
  • engaging the underrepresented
  • concept of ownership and stewardship
  • collaboration and community
  • sustainability.

Ms Vidushi Marda, Centre for Internet and Society, said the idea of an AI future is real and that it would be nice to be slow and think of what we are running with, where we are running to and why we are doing this. She added that AI in India is trying to copy western ideas into its culture especially on data protection. Providing data in India is not a problem while in the western world there is focus on how can I know what you are doing with my data?

Mr Kyung Sin Park, Open Net Korea, said what is more important in AI is data because AI is a programme. He added that we all own this data. He said AI is more appreciated in Asia for its economic importance than its social importance, whereas it could be used to improve social welfare and safety.

The session ended with questions and answers from the audience on matters of transparency and accountability, especially with the private sector.

By Foncham Denis Doh