Debating the Digital Future forum: Leaders from business, government and civil society address the promise and risk of emerging technologies

Debating the Digital Future forum: Leaders from business, government and civil society address the promise and risk of emerging technologies

WASHINGTONJune 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Officials from government and international organisations gathered with leading experts, business leaders, and academics yesterday for the Debating the Digital Future forum, programmed by Economist Impact and supported by Google, to address the rapid development of next generation technologies and their impact on society.

“We need to strike the right regulatory balance, one that takes into account some of these trade-offs and steers us towards a more positive path,” commented Kent Walker, president, global affairs, Google.

Along with advances that include artificial intelligence, driverless cars, biotech and quantum, come important questions of privacy, security and governance, and debate over whether these tools will ease geopolitical tensions or further strain them.

“The key will be integrating innovation into a regulatory structure,” said Congressman Ted Lieu, who earlier this week, together with Congressman Ken Buck and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, introduced the National AI Commission Act to focus on the question of regulating artificial intelligence.

In addressing how optimistic he was that Congress could put together a framework to regulate AI, he indicated, “Most members of Congress are not thrilled with how social media has turned out….so many members of Congress want to put some guardrails on it.”

Speakers at the summit commented on the importance of understanding the risks and benefits of emerging technology, changes to modern workforces and AI best practices.

According to William Halal, author, futurist and professor emeritus of management, technology and innovation, at George Washington University, “Blue collar or white collar jobs that are routine… those will disappear. But service jobs or professional jobs we think will be updated… AI is going to do the grunt work freeing humans to do the stuff they could never get to before.”

Across the discussions amongst more than 60 business leaders, technology experts and policymakers the key message of the summit was clear – stakeholders must seek to find a balance between AI innovation and social responsibility, and work collaboratively in these efforts.

Featured speakers included:

  • Kent Walker, president, global affairs, Google
  • Ted Lieu, congressman, US House of Representatives
  • Bruce Andrews, chief government affairs officer, Intel
  • Kendra Parlock, vice president partnership development, NPower
  • Chris Meserole, director, AI emerging tech initiative, Brookings
  • Miriam Vogel, president, EqualAI
  • James Bennet, senior editor and Lexington columnist, The Economist

SOURCE Economist Impact

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