Cathy Li's address to the AI Leadership Summit

Cathy Li's address to the AI Leadership Summit

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, thank you so much for having me and I'm very pleased to be with you today at the Australia AI Leadership Summit, although I do wish I could be there with you in person.

As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, the significance of artificial intelligence in shaping our collective future cannot be overstated. That's why, again, it's my great pleasure to be with all of you today, coming from the World Economic Forum where I head the AI data and metaverse work.

Over the past few months and years, we definitely find ourselves at a pivotal, common moment in history where the narrative of human progress is increasingly shaped by algorithms and networks that are defining the futures of our existence.

The rise of artificial intelligence is not merely a technological revolution. It represents a profound shift, as Melinda just mentioned as well, bringing both unprecedented possibilities, but also challenges.

Since last November, when ChatGPT was launched into the consumer market, the world all of a sudden sees a new possibility.

The advancements that AI is making are moving it from being a vision or a concept towards something much more integrated, persuasive and tangible in our infrastructure, industries and systems today.

As our world keeps merging between physical and digital realms, consider it as the plumbing upon which many interactions will take place.

In industry, AI is having an impact in both existing business processes and the creation of new products and services.

The promise of enhanced work experiences, augmented innovation and creativity and the lower operating cost is opening a flurry of implementation and investments.

We see it in everything from consumer goods, research, development and marketing to healthcare diagnostics and patient delivery.

Industrial operations are also harnessing its use for optimised operations.

Across the enterprise, AI's augmenting and updating workflow processes in IT customer services and more.

In some, we could expect full value chains to undergo transformation in the years to come.

What this means for consumers and customers is a new world of AI augmented products and services, hailing new forms of interaction, and the intertwined relationship with technology at the level that's not seen before.

A world that is constantly streamed through, or analysed by, futuristic model technology begs many questions.

What is the impending impact on our relationships with each other and our institutions? How does AI shape the pillars of trust, safety and privacy that we hope are inherent in our world today?

And it cannot be forgotten that with this breadth of the impact, the impact on social systems of health, finance, education and sustainability are widely dispersed in the world.

Concentrations of innovation and development in the Global North risk setting, adoption and benefit gaps with the Global South further apart.

Consequently, AI governance and associated infrastructure implications have been elevated to the levels of national agendas.

However, AI governance is a complex issue and will need to be tackled by public and private sectors together.

With AI especially, proximity to industry and technology makers is imperative to realistic and applicable solutions.

Recent global efforts, including the UK’s AI Safety Summit, President Biden's executive order on safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence, and the European Union's incoming AI act, the G7 code of conduct under the Hiroshima AI process and the United Nations high level advisory body on artificial intelligence underscore our collective acknowledgement of the urgent need for action.

Additionally, the World Economic Forum recently hosted our own AI Governance Summit, serving as a testament to our commitment to translating our intent into tangible, impactful actions.

Yet as we know, declarations, while necessary, are not sufficient. The real work lies in the action that follows.

And it is with that intent that we at the World Economic Forum launched the AI Governance Alliance back in June.

The intent of the alliance is not only to bring stakeholders together, but to further a mutual commitment to take action on some of the most pressing issues in AI governance.

That includes finding a shared way forward on frontier guardrails to safeguard more proliferate AI systems, as well as advancing knowledge at the frontier of applied generative AI across all sectors and industries.

Driven by its members, the goal of the alliance is to devise, cooperate and help a broad range of decision makers enact more adaptive and resilient forms of AI governance and that at the time when it's surely needed.

In our pursuit of responsible AI, continuous dialogue is crucial. The dynamic natures of the AI field demands that our strategies and guidelines evolve consistently.

This ongoing communication among stakeholders ensure our collective approach remains adaptable and responsive to the emerging challenges and opportunities.

And with that, I would like to thank you again and hope that our collective journey into the realms of artificial intelligence can be marked by wisdom, compassion and the steadfast commitment to the betterment of humanity.

Thank you very much.