Towards an inclusive future in AI

12 Apr 2019 11:00h - 12:45h

Event report


Mr Eduardo Belinchon de la Banda (Digital Innovation Manager, foraus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy) briefly introduced foraus, its goals and activities. Foraus is a Swiss think-tank on foreign policy. He explained that the main goal of the session would be to discuss means of developing inclusive Artificial Intelligence (AI). He highlighted the large scale and intensity with which AI might change modern society in comparison to other disrupting technologies. According to him, many countries have developed strategies, principles and guidelines for the ethical development of AI and nearly all included provisions on the matter of inclusion in AI. Without inclusion, much of the technology loses its purpose, or has its benefits greatly reduced and its risks increased.

Mr Roman Kern (Managing Kern, Swissnex Network) explained the nature of the Swissnex Network, how it promoted research and development around the world through means of partnerships between governments and the private sector in many different hubs, in all continents. He announced upcoming workshops, similar to this one, which would take place across the world in the following months and years, all with the purpose of identifying and promoting the positive aspects of AI while discussing ideas to mitigate its potential harmful consequences. Kern highlighted that although Swissnex was a governmental organisation, most of its funding came from the private sector, both Swiss and from host countries to the organisation’s hubs. According to him, this happened naturally because the benefits of the initiatives promoted by Swissnex were of great interest to many organisations and companies across the world.

He proposed a 5-minute brainstorm with the question: What are impediments to realise the goal of inclusion in the future trajectory of artificial intelligence? In response, the audience shared thoughts that included the lack of trust, fear of faster social disruption, of unknown consequences and the lack of awareness. One impediment several members of the audience equally pointed out as a relevant was the difficulty of auditing some algorithms, identifying how automated decisions would be made, and therefore how to properly define liabilities in case of harmful consequences caused by AI decision-making.

He then asked the audience to form in groups of two and discuss in silence for the rest of the session.

During the discussion part of the session, the moderator asked the audience to gather their ideas and upload them on the Policy Kitchen ( website, a platform created by foraus to crowdsource ideas for Swiss foreign policy.


By Pedro Vilela