At a G20 Summit session themed “One Future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a compelling call for increased international cooperation and centralization. She advocated for the establishment of a worldwide regulatory body overseeing Artificial Intelligence and digital identification systems, drawing parallels to the implementation of coronavirus vaccine passports.
Von der Leyen boldly asserted that our collective trajectory is increasingly digital, underscoring the implied need for global entities to establish boundaries and enforce regulations.
In her capacity as EU Commission President, von der Leyen addressed the realms of AI and the digital landscape. She acknowledged both the potential hazards and immense opportunities associated with the progression of AI technology, and stressed the paramount importance of effectively harnessing such a transformative technology.
Today, I want to direct attention towards AI and digital infrastructure. As has been noted, AI brings forth not only risks but also enormous possibilities. The pivotal question lies in how we can navigate this swiftly evolving technology. In the EU, in 2020, we introduced the inaugural legislation on artificial intelligence. Our aim is to foster innovation while nurturing trust. However, there is a need for more. The actions taken by the global community at this juncture will define our future. I am of the belief that Europe — alongside its partners — should pioneer the development of a new global framework to address the risks associated with AI,” stated von der Leyen.
Ursula von der Leyen commended the European Union’s groundbreaking move in 2020 to establish the initial legal framework for AI, aiming to promote innovation while building trust. Nevertheless, she asserted that this was just a starting point. She advocated for a multinational effort to implement a comprehensive mechanism for managing AI risks.
The EU Chief also emphasized the necessity for globally recognized standards, proposed to be developed under the auspices of the United Nations, drawing a parallel to their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She contended that humanity could greatly benefit from an international authority that could elucidate the potential risks and rewards associated with AI, similar to the role of the IPCC in addressing climate concerns.
Simultaneously, von der Leyen championed the notion of a digital public infrastructure akin to the coronavirus passport system, a framework pioneered by the EU in response to the Covid crisis. This model was embraced by the World Health Organization and adopted as a global standard to enhance mobility during times of health threats.
However, it is noteworthy that von der Leyen also lauded the EU’s progress towards a bloc-wide digital identity app capable of securely storing a citizen’s personal information, encompassing credit cards, driver’s license, and passport data.
These advancements raise concerns among individuals and nations that highly value free speech and privacy.