Roundtable on Reframing AI Governance through a Political Economy Lens: Event Report

The entry of generative AI applications in the digital marketplace has intensified recent public debates about AI. Silicon Valley’s ‘move fast’ techno-optimism is now under the scanner. A humane and just AI system requires a radical restructuring of the global political-economic regime of knowledge, innovation, and development. In an era characterized by system-wide platformization and datafication, a reactionary clamor for a pause on AI technology development is not useful; nor will strategies for inclusive techno-design be enough. The need of the hour is a robust structural justice approach to AI governance that is able to articulate the pathways for multi-scalar institutional transformation.

Policymakers have also been tailoring their responses to this public mood. On June 28th 2023, IT for Change organized a hybrid roundtable on Reframing AI governance through a political economy lens in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Transnational Institute. This roundtable brought together a small group of scholars and activists to examine the building blocks of a transformative approach to AI governance. Both through in-person and via remote participation, participants made short, insightful provocations that examined the political economy considerations in AI governance and deliberated on the new institutional arrangements necessary to advance AI as a catalyst of generative and accountable economies and societies. Sessions spanned a range of topics including Monopoly power, Big Tech and AI, Rethinking AI Governance, Sectoral Deep Dives into various facets of AI and Interrogating AI through ethical paradigms.

Watch this space for updates from this event including a synthesis report.


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