With an ominous call for increased global collaboration and centralization, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen at a G20 Summit session, dubbed “One Future,” today appealed for an international regulatory body for Artificial Intelligence and digital ID systems similar to coronavirus vaccine passports.
Von der Leyen audaciously proclaimed our collective future to be digital, hence the implied necessity for global entities to draw boundaries and enforce regulations.
Von der Leyen, in her position as the EU Commission President, touched on AI and the digital landscape in her address. She acknowledged the potential dangers and gargantuan opportunities linked with advancing AI technology and emphasized the importance of channeling such explosive technology.
“Today I want to focus on AI and digital infrastructure. As it has been described, AI has risks but also offers tremendous opportunities. The crucial question is how to harness a rapidly changing technology.
“In the EU, in 2020, we presented the first-ever law on artificial intelligence. We want to facilitate innovation while building trust. But we need more. What the world does now will shape our future. I believe that Europe — and its partners — should develop a new global framework for AI risks,” von der Leyen said.
Von der Leyen praised the European Union’s move in 2020 to introduce the first legal framework on AI, a step taken with the intent of fostering innovation alongside trust. However, she insisted that this wasn’t sufficient. She suggested a multinational adoption of a coping mechanism for managing AI risks.
The EU Chief also stressed that globally accepted standards must be created under the purview of the United Nations, akin to their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Humanity stood to benefit, she argued, if an international authority could clarify the risks and rewards related to AI, akin to the IPCC for climate concerns.
Concurrently, von der Leyen championed the concept of digital public infrastructure similar to the coronavirus passport system – a system developed by the EU as a response to the Covid saga. The World Health Organization embraced it with open arms as a global standard for combating health threats.
“Many of you are familiar with the COVID-19 digital certificate. The EU developed it for itself. The model was so functional and so trusted that 51 countries on 4 continents adopted it for free. Today, the WHO uses it as a global standard to facilitate mobility in times of health threats,” von der Leyen continued.
Alarmingly, von der Leyen praised the EU’s strides towards a bloc-wide digital identity app capable of storing a citizen’s personal information, including credit cards, driver’s license, and passport data.
These developments ring alarm bells for individuals and nations valuing free speech and privacy.
by Ken Macon
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