Data sharing to benefit all

Last December, the Data Governance Working Group of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) presented the results of its studies at the Montreal Summit. One year later, at the second GPAI Summit in Paris, the same expert group presented its latest work on data sharing for the benefit of society at large.

Last year, the Data Governance Working Group of 35 experts from 22 countries focused on developing collaborations between all GPAI Working Groups and advancing the progress of cross-domain projects. Following ideation rounds in the early months of this year, it published a research programme incorporating seven detailed concept notes.

The first flagship project involved the creation of effective data trusts with the aim of sharing this data for the benefit of society at large. The project was designed to support new institutions that empower individuals and communities by providing them with the resources they need to defend their data rights. The ultimate aim of this project was to enable data trusts to achieve their full potential as tools for the fair, legal and secure sharing of data in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Open Data Institute and the Aapti Institute have been commissioned for this project, in collaboration with the Cambridge Data Trusts Initiative. The project is co-chaired by Neil Lawrence and Seongtak Oh.

The second project of the Working Group concerns Data Justice, with the ambition to create practical guidance to policymakers, developers and users on this important topic, and pilot those with partners across the Global South. The Working Group has collaborated with the Alan Turing Institute, to develop a preliminary thematic understanding of the state of the art on Data Justice research, and a set of guiding questions to be tested with 12 pilot organisations representing Low and Middle Income Countries.

What are the prospects for progressing AI for social good in 2022?

The Working Group on Data Governance intends to move these projects forward from theoretical status to the implementation of practical interventions. In doing so, it plans to work proactively within partnerships to roll out its work and maximise impact. One example is to provide data trust creation tool kits and compose practical guidelines developed from the results of its 2021 research.

The expert group will also conduct a study into the feasible application of climate-related data trusts. It will set up to identify initiatives that support the creation of data trusts in key areas, such as health. Additionally, will be the creation of pilot projects focusing on forecast scenarios developed in conjunction with the AI and climate communities. A summary of the findings and recommendations from this study will be delivered at a public launch event end of March 2022. 

The other key issue the Working Group will address is the development and adoption of reliable technologies that are capable of taking privacy to a new level. The goal of this work stream is to demonstrate the viability of AI systems in achieving the SDGs by providing the resources required to use and share data safely, confidentially and without infringing upon intellectual property rights. 

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