AI Civic Forum Pilot Deliberation at ICESCO Future Forum

AI Civic Forum delivered its first pilot face-to-face deliberation in the premises of the “Future Forum,” held at ICESCO Headquarters in Rabat, on 17-18 February 2020.

AI Civic Forum is a multi-stakeholder platform combining capacity building, online consultations, and face-to-face deliberations to raise awareness of key ethical issues of AI and proactively involve citizens in discussions around the responsible adoption of AI. Anchored in a robust collective intelligence process, the objectives are delivered through four key deliverables: 

  • The ‘AI Literacy Toolkit’ – an interactive book with text, short narratives, and comic illustrations – aims to raise awareness of AI and its ethical implications across use cases.
  • The ‘Training Material’ – a short curriculum explaining AI, key social and ethical implications, and basic rules of a deliberation – aims to empower local ambassadors to support the facilitation of the deliberations. 
  • The ‘Face-to-face Deliberations’ – a series of design thinking workshops –  aim to bring together a diverse set of voices to deliberate on AI ethics using specific use cases and scenarios.
  • The ‘Online Platform’ – a digital portal for further open dialogue and educational material on AI ethics –  aims to continue the consultation process and encourage cross-cultural dialogue.

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) invited AI Civic Forum (AICF) to deliver its first pilot face-to-face deliberation as part of “Future Forum,” held at ICESCO Headquarters in Rabat, on 17-18 February 2020. The pilot brought together thirty-seven participants from Islamic countries, with backgrounds in education or digital technologies.

The open dialogue and debate surfaced key AI ethical issues, included concerns around how data is gathered and managed, what AI systems could mean for human wellbeing and social relationships, who would ultimately be responsible for unintended consequences, how would inequality gaps and diversity issues be escalated by emerging technologies, and what AI technologies meant for individual privacy. 

In the second part of the pilot workshop, the participants collectively formulated suggestions for how to address the multi-faceted AI ethics issues. These can be clustered in three categories: (a) updated regulation and establishment of an explicit legal framework, (b) creation of safeguards capable of protecting and securing individuals’ data, and (c) new educational and training programs aiming to build understanding and literacy around AI.

Through a larger and more inclusive deliberation process, AI Civic Forum could help build awareness of AI across Islamic communities, ensuring people across the region have the skills and understanding to navigate its opportunities and also its challenges.

This post was initially published on the Future Society’s website