In December 2017, the Berkman Klein Center co-hosted an exploratory workshop in Beijing, China with Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management and the MIT Media Lab’s Ethics Initiative. Drawing together experts and practitioners from both countries to build interfaces for bilateral learning and trust between the AI research communities in China and the US, the event focused on AI impact metrics and measurement in critical areas such as social inclusion and the digital economy.
China and the United States are home to leading players in the research and development of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, which promise enormous benefits for the social good and pose significant risks. Investment in startups to apply and commercialize AI technologies is rapidly advancing in both countries, while in parallel different branches of the Chinese and American governments are preparing strategic policy plans for the future of AI. AI’s social impact, however, remains insufficiently examined, and many probable and prospective national and international decision points have yet to be clearly identified owing to differing political, economic, and cultural contexts.
In order to establish a cross-cultural dialogue about specific AI issues and build a learning network for investigating approaches to address these issues within and across domestic and global contexts, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in collaboration with the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University and the MIT Media Lab’s Ethics Initiative hosted a China-US AI Workshop to bring together experts and practitioners from both countries. The meeting was designed to strengthen and build interfaces for bilateral learning and information sharing on research questions surrounding AI of mutual interest, while fostering trust between the AI research communities in China and the United States.
The purpose of this write-up is to share observations from this initial discussion-based workshop, highlight overarching themes that emerged, and extract insights on next steps for sustaining the cross-cultural, global dialogue.
About the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative is a joint effort of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Media Lab that seeks to support the evolution of AI in the public interest through research, community-building, and education.The initiative is enabled by support from the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.