Canadian Embassy in Seoul hosts symposium to promote AI ethics across Indo-Pacific region

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : March 12, 2024, 16:47 Updated : May 21, 2024, 14:54
Courtesy of the Embassy of Canada in Seoul
[Courtesy of the Embassy of Canada in Seoul]

SEOUL -- At a symposium designed to accelerate cooperation on the ethical use of artificial intelligence, researchers and business officials from the Indo-Pacific region discussed obstacles in maintaining human rights and democratic values amid the rapid evolution of AI systems. This symposium, hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, focused on sharing diverse perspectives in preserving these principles.

Canadian Ambassador to South Korea, Tamara Mawhinney, addressed the potential disasters resulting from misjudgments in AI development and application during her opening remarks at the media event on March 15. "The consequences of missteps can be catastrophic for individuals and communities," she said, adding, "Both companies and governments must abide by their respective responsibilities and duties under the UN guiding principles on business and human rights across the design, development, and deployment of AI."

Mawhinney said Canada is looking forward to South Korea's leadership in the second AI Safety Summit scheduled to take place in May 2024. The event, aimed at seeking cooperation among nations, businesses, and institutions for the safe utilization of AI, was first held in Britain last year. Along with ministers from 28 countries, representatives from global firms, including Google, Microsoft Amazon, and Samsung Electronics participated in the first event. 

Kim Myoung-shin, the principal policy officer at LG AI Research, backed Mawhinney's idea. "If businesses fail to use AI responsibly, they may experience the risk of losing the trust of customers, which is critical for companies," Kim said. He suggested multi-sectoral cooperation to build AI systems that can earn universal trust. "Governments should ensure that no one is left behind by AI's benefits, while individuals should realize that they are not only consumers but also data producers, content creators, and influencers."

Daniel Remier, the AI policy coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, emphasized the importance of international cooperation in developing AI models. He said: "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of State have been tasked with the global engagement plan on international AI standards in recognition that the AI standards are not just to be developed for the U.S. and it's important to develop them in concert with our partners around the world through the private sector, through multi-stakeholder processes."

The event, held at the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, was jointly organized with the embassies of the U.S., Australia, and Singapore, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea. Approximately 80 participants, including foreign embassy officials, were in attendance. Panel discussions were led by Alice Oh, an AI professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology. 
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