Convened by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, the AI Policy Forum is a global effort that is bringing together scientists, technologists, policymakers, and business leaders with the goal of moving the conversation about the societal challenges created by the rapidly increasing adaptability of artificial intelligence from principles into practical implementation.


A global collaboration moving from AI principles to AI practice

Today, artificial intelligence — and the computing systems that underlie it — are more than just matters of technology; they are matters of state and society, of governance and the public interest. The choices that technologists, policymakers, and communities make in the next few years will shape the relationship between AI technology and humans for decades to come.

For a few years now, there have been important and concerted efforts on understanding the impact of the broad deployment of AI as well as developing high-level principles for AI on social and ethical issues such as privacy, fairness, bias, transparency or accountability. At this point, hundreds of events have taken place and dozens of documents on AI principles are already published. The process of understanding challenges created by AI, and then establishing the principles to follow has not been trivial, and may not be fully complete yet.

We are taking the next step by building on those broader principles to formulate concrete guidance for governments and companies to address the emerging issues.

Activities associated with this effort will be distinguished by their focus on tangible outcomes — their engagement with key government officials at the local, national, and international level charged with designing those public policies, and their deep technical grounding in the latest advances in the science of AI. The measure of success will be whether these efforts have bridged the gap between these communities, translated principled agreement into actionable outcomes, and helped create the conditions for deeper trust of humans in AI technology.

This is a challenging and complex process that requires all hands-on deck.



The AI Policy Forum (AIPF) begins with a number of preparatory task forces that are exploring some of the most pressing issues of AI policy. Each task force, chaired by an MIT researcher and including a diverse range of technical and policy experts from around the world, will be active for several months, convening one or more workshops for the participants during that time. The yearlong process culminates in a series of events to gather high-level decision makers and to provide a focal point for the work of the AIPF, including an online symposium in May 2021 and followed by a summit later in the year.

We have identified three broad sectors to focus on — mobility, finance, and health care. Specific issues within each of these topic areas will be discussed by the task forces. Context and details matter in the real world so the topics chosen are specific — or granular — enough, while also being relevant across countries, regions and cities.

Our goal is to help policymakers in making practical decisions about AI policy by providing context and guidelines specific to a field of use of AI that can aid with implementation. The research from our task forces will also feed into the development of the AI Policy Framework that comprises a broad analytical toolkit and sector-specific information on emerging issues, as gleaned from expert task forces, as well as identifies possible policy levers and fundamental trade-offs that the decision makers are likely to face.