G7 Multistakeholder Conference on Artificial Intelligence: Final Summary Report

December 6, 2018

Please note: The discussion papers, conference discussion, and this Final Summary Report do not represent the views of the G7 or its members.

Final Summary Report (PDF, 0.95MB, 5 pages)


On 6 December 2018, Montréal played host to the G7 Multistakeholder Conference on Artificial Intelligence. This Conference was an outcome of the 2018 G7 Ministerial Meeting on Preparing for the Jobs of the Future and built upon the G7 Innovation Ministers' Statement on Artificial Intelligence . Over 200 experts in artificial intelligence (AI) attended, representing all of the G7 countries and beyond, as well as key multistakeholder perspectives from industry, academia, civil society, and government. In advance of the Conference, consultations were also held in Toronto and Edmonton.

The overarching theme of the Conference was “Enabling the Responsible Adoption of AI”, with breakout sessions focusing on four separate topics:

Several key AI experts and G7 focal point organizations collaboratively drafted discussion papers for each topic and directed breakout sessions during the Conference.


The Conference was opened by Dr. Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, who delivered remarks on previous multilateral commitments on AI, Canada’s AI environment, and the importance of grounding AI innovation in the values of diversity, human rights, and inclusiveness.

During the Setting the Stage session moderated by Jean-François Gagné (Element AI), panelists Verity Harding (DeepMind Ethics & Society), Fanny Hidvegi (Access Now), Edward Santow (Australia Human Rights Commission), and Stefan Schnorr (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – Germany) discussed the multidisciplinary nature of AI and the need for a collective multistakeholder response to address the challenges and opportunities with AI. Key perspectives included the protection of human rights in the face of increasing technological capabilities, the role that government plays in encouraging AI and digital infrastructure development, where AI can be used to benefit the general public, and various global strategies on AI.


Attendees divided into separate breakout sessions to further review the discussion papers drafted for the Conference.

AI for Society – Inclusion in AI Development and Deployment (Discussion Paper)
Breakout sessions led by: Marie-Josée Hébert (Canada) and Adrian Weller (UK), Plenary lead: Hébert

Participants in this session discussed the importance of inclusion in recognizing the benefits of AI and how the socio-economic benefits from the use of AI can positively impact societies by contributing to value-added outcomes. Topics discussed included:

Unleashing Innovation – Reducing Barriers to Innovation / Enhancing Market Confidence (Discussion Paper)
Breakout sessions led by: Finch Fulton (US) and Lucilla Sioli (EU), Plenary lead: Michael May (Germany)

In this session, participants addressed the balance between innovation and regulation in ensuring competitive and sustainable industries, institutions, and businesses. The following points were made:

Accountability in AI – Promoting Greater Societal Trust (Discussion Paper)
Breakout sessions led by: Jason Millar (Canada), Koichi Hori (Japan), Ian Kerr (Canada), and Kentaro Kotsuki (Japan), Plenary lead: Kerr

AI’s responsible deployment, including consumer protection, standards, and the appropriate level of trust were examined in this session. Key perspectives raised included maintaining the integrity in algorithms and addressing problems, while preventing the unethical development of AI to ensure societal trust in the technologies. Participants raised the following:

The Future of Work – Skills for the Modern Economy (Discussion Paper)
Breakout sessions led by: Nicolas Vayatis (France) and Giorgio Metta (Italy), Plenary lead: Metta

During this session, participants discussed the potential of AI to create a large number of jobs across the world, but also to act as a disruptor. Points were raised on the necessity to equip people with education and skills for success in the evolving labour market, while maintaining a multistakeholder role that ensures coordination across numerous fields. Points of discussion included:


During lunchtime, The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development moderated a panel with three leading Canadian AI experts, Foteini Agrafioti (Borealis AI), Yoshua Bengio (MILA), and Geoffrey Hinton (Vector Institute), on the current state of AI development and potential future directions. They discussed how, in many fields, the potential benefits of commercializing AI far outweigh the negatives due to the prospect for the personalization of data and large-scale data analysis. While AI has the ability to perform the tedious and low-skilled jobs, at its current level of development, it does not have the ability to perform tasks requiring human creativity, reasoning, and understanding. The panel closed with a discussion on using AI for good and reflecting Canadian values such as human rights and diversity.


Moderated by James Kurose (National Science Foundation), the final panel of the Conference focused on the process of moving AI from research and development to commercialization from multiple perspectives. Andrew Greenshaw (APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health), Lucilla Sioli (DG CNECT), Geneviève Tanguay (National Research Council of Canada), and Michael Zeller (Software AG) each represented a different stakeholder view on the topic. The panel discussed bridging the gap between research and commercialization, especially with new innovative solutions in fields such as medicine, language interpretation, and manufacturing. The government plays a role in creating an environment for technologies to thrive, bringing together experts, and allocating budgets towards research and testing. The competition for talent is a challenge to address, especially since working for industry can provide a lucrative salary which the public and academic sectors are unable to match. Going forward, maintaining a multistakeholder perspective will be important for AI research and commercialization in order to meet challenges and to sustain growth in multiple fields.


The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development closed the Conference by providing remarks on the challenges and opportunities of AI going forward. He mentioned the importance for industry and government to address unknowns with regards to ethics, security, competition, and safety. He also stated that stakeholders should take a leadership role in fostering an ecosystem that supports responsible AI adoption for the benefit of all. Final thanks were given to all Conference attendees, and those throughout the G7 who collaborated towards the creation of a meaningful multistakeholder event.

For a detailed agenda of the day, please visit: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/133.nsf/eng/00001.html.

For questions regarding the G7 Multistakeholder Conference on Artificial Intelligence, please contact the ISED G7 Secretariat at: ic.isedg7secretariat-secretariatdug7pourisde.ic@canada.ca.

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