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Background and Objective


During the COVID-19 pandemic various AI technologies have been used for critical functions such as virus detection and diagnosis, contact tracing, facial recognition, as well as recovery monitoring. However, the increased spotlight on these technologies has also raised broader concerns about the balance between benefits and potential risks, both economic and social. Many questions remain regarding the effect of AI technologies on individual privacy and inequality, and whether such technologies will lead to new discrimination, prejudice, and new divides.


With various AI principles issued by governments, non-government organizations, academic associations, and private companies, the balance between AI development and risk control has been the focus of much discussion. As the COVID-19 pandemic has stabilized in China, there is an opportunity now to reflect on the benefits AI has brought and how to facilitate the process of building an international AI governance framework by promoting mutual understandings of AI governance in different cultural contexts. In this way, we can ensure the development of AI serves to build a sustainable and inclusive future, rather than exacerbating challenges and creating new digital divides.


In this context, from December 18th - 19th, 2020, the first International AI Cooperation and Governance Forum will be held in Beijing, China hosted by the Institute for AI International Governance of Tsinghua University (I-AIIG) with the United Nations Development Programme as international supporting organization. This forum will bring together leading minds from all over the world to discuss both the opportunities and challenges posed by AI technology, share understandings of AI governance, exchange international governance wisdom, and propose academic agendas for future AI governance research.