“A moment of profound technological acceleration” 

Baroness Shields, GPAI’s MEG Plenary Chair, presented the first GPAI Annual Report, representing the “cutting-edge research and impactful applied AI projects” of the Working Groups. 

On Thursday 11th November, GPAI’s Multi-Stakeholder Experts Group Plenary Chair and Chair of the Steering Committee, Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, joined a range of other honoured guests at the Paris Peace Forum in Paris to discuss digital tech challenges of our time and shaping a better collective future for all with AI.

Baroness Shields speaked amongst many world leaders invested in the global development of responsible AI, including President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Estonia’s President Alar Karis. 

She was also joined on the Panel by President of Microsoft Brad Smith; Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters without Borders; and Emma Llansó, Director of the Free Expression Project for the Center for Democracy and Technology. 

After President Karis’ statement, Baroness Shields addressed the speakers, reminding them that they had come together at “a moment of profound technological acceleration” as “AI is rapidly integrating into many facets of human life.” She emphasised the importance of “collectively” choosing “to shape this change”: “If we want AI to be a driver for innovation, prosperity and democracy, international frameworks must be created to define the boundaries, use and deployment of AI to secure public trust.”

A beacon of hope 

To mark GPAI’s progress in envisaging what values might shape these frameworks, Baroness Shields in her role of GPAI’s MEG Plenary Chair officially presented the first GPAI Annual Report, representing the “cutting-edge research and impactful applied AI projects” of the Working Groups. She highlighted the efforts of the Responsible AI Working Group to “develop an adoption strategy for climate action biodiversity preservation,” the Data Governance Group’s support of creating “real-world data trusts,” the AI and Pandemic Response Group’s efforts towards “opening biomedical data sets to support drug discovery,” the Innovation and Commercialisation Group “helping SMEs and start-ups to understand AI and intellectual property rights” and the Future of Work Group helping to “define the new relationship between humans and technology in the workplace.”

After summarising the efforts of the Working Groups, Baroness Shields personally handed the Report to President Macron. The President, who earlier at the Summit had stated that GPAI’s work should become a “benchmark” for “promoting digital technology for the service of progress, health, education, innovation,” received the Report gratefully. Joanna concluded by quoting his words from the opening of the Global Partnership on AI Summit: “let our actions be a ‘beacon of hope to enlighten the future path’.”