France and Canada officially announce partnership on responsible AI research

In March 2018, during the G7 Ministerial meeting on Preparing Jobs of the Future, Canadian minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, said AI to have a key part in the country’s economic growth strategy and thus wanted to put together a group that would do research on the societal and economic impacts of AI.  At the same time in March, president Macron referred to the idea of an IPCC for AI during the launching of France’s AI strategy called “AI for Humanity”.

On Thursday the 6th of December Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, and minister Bains officially confirmed a partnership between France and Canada on creating such a research group.

This announcement was made during a G7 press conference of the yearly NeurIPS conference, this time focusing on “Responsible Adoption of AI”. The aim of the partnership is to organize a group of international experts, ranging from scientists, representatives of the industry and governments to civil society.

The group will be called International panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI, for short) or in French: Justin Trudeau and Navdeep Bains at G7 conferenceGroupe international d’experts en intelligence artificielle, G2IA. The idea is based on the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was founded in 1988. Invitees to the group are the other members of the G7. France and Canada stressed that this group would be open to OECD and United Nations member states to join. Mounir Mahjoubi, French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, said all countries may join the G2IA, as long as they share the view that AI should not only bring profit but also serve human development and the well-being of the planet.

France also wants to include and engage Japan and the European Union, who created their respective AI expert groups in the spring of 2018. The objective is to define the organization, the governance and the first members of the G2IA in the summer of 2019, when France also aspires to host a global scientific conference on Artificial Intelligence.

France and Canada are currently on the forefront of this topic, as France is set to take over the G7 presidency from Canada in 2019.