About AI Connect

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies hold great promise to increase prosperity and innovation, as well as enrich the human experience. The AI Connect program seeks to foster a global community of government, academic, industry, and civil society stakeholders with a vested interest in advancing the responsible stewardship of trustworthy AI as embodied in the OECD Recommendation on AI. With the promotion of this concept in mind, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy has partnered with the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center to implement the AI Connect program. This extensive grant provides programmatic assistance to empower low- and middle-income countries to more effectively participate in global, multi-stakeholder conversations on the responsible use of AI. AI Connect currently has three lines of effort in pursuit of these goals:

1. Monthly webinar series on AI principles and applications across sectors

Focused on building AI policy capacity, the monthly webinar series provides a platform for AI Connect participants from around the world to learn about AI policy best practices and implications. Webinar topics focus on opportunities and challenges in responsibly developing and deploying AI technologies across sectors in line with human-centric values in the OECD AI Principles. Through dynamic presentations, panels, and technology demonstrations, the webinar curriculum emphasizes the benefits of engagement with international fora working on AI issues, such as the OECD, and ensuring that industry, academia, civil society, and other stakeholders are included in the development of AI policy approaches.

2. In-person regional workshops and site visits

The AI Connect program also convenes participants and the wider multistakeholder community of AI experts for regional workshops focusing on the Indo-Pacific, Central and South America, Europe, and Africa. During these workshops, AI Connect participants hear from policy and technical experts in their field; examine case studies and best practices from their own home regions; network with other AI Connect participants; and analyze the most pressing issues in AI policy. The workshops include site visits to engage directly with the local community of AI developers and relevant stakeholders.

3. Travel funding to attend global AI conferences

Lastly, the program includes travel funding to send AI Connect participants to multilateral meetings and global conferences focused on AI. The AI Connect program aims to provide these opportunities for participants to engage in discussions on critical AI topics with experts and stakeholders around the world to create a more inclusive and representative global AI community.

AI Connect Webinars

AI Connect Webinar 1

AI Connect’s inaugural event stressed the global economic impact of AI and featured a keynote lecture from Ramin Toloui, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

AI Connect Webinar 2

The second webinar of the AI Connect series looked at contextualizing ethical AI implementation, shone light on corresponding policy issues faced by countries around the world, and dove deeper into global AI regulatory frameworks.

AI Connect Webinar 3

The third webinar of the AI Connect series focused on human-centered implementation of AI technologies and featured a keynote lecture from White House Assistant Director for Data and Democracy Dr. Sorelle Friedler.

AI Connect Webinar 4

The fourth webinar of the AI Connect series focused on principles throughout the lifecycle of AI systems and featured presentations from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Google.

AI Connect Webinar 5

The fifth AI Connect Webinar focused on the role of research and development (R&D) in trustworthy artificial intelligence applications and featured panelists from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Sony Group Corporation, and NVIDA.

AI Connect Webinar 6

The sixth AI Connect webinar discussed the design of digital AI ecosystems that foster responsible AI governance and featured speakers from NSF and IBM. Additionally, several AI Connect participants shared real-world examples of data governance in their countries.

AI Connect Webinar 7

The seventh AI Connect webinar focused on building human capacity and preparing for labor market transitions in the age of automation. It featured a fireside chat with Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey from Oxford University as well as a distinguished panel on economic development and the future of work.

AI Connect Webinar 8

The eighth AI Connect webinar focused on AI applications in the education sector and featured a fireside chat with the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, a panel of educators and edtech experts, and two real-time demonstrations of AI tech for augmenting global education practices.

AI Connect Webinar 9

The ninth AI Connect webinar focused on AI applications in healthcare and featured a fireside chat with the Director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ National AI Institute, a panel of health sector research scientists, and a discussion among international development-focused health experts.

AI Connect Webinar 10

The tenth webinar focused on AI Applications in urban development and featured a fireside chat with the U.S. State Department Office of Environmental Quality’s Division Chief of Multilateral Affairs, a panel on smart and sustainable cities, and a discussion on two cases of urban technology integration.

AI Connect Webinar 11

The eleventh AI Connect webinar focused on AI Applications in climate change, agriculture, and food security and featured a fireside chat with The Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as well as two panels.

AI Connect Workshops

AI Connect Workshop 1

The first in-person AI Connect workshop featured panels covering AI policy and multi-stakeholder ecosystems; case studies of AI policies and practices; a fireside chat with Dr. Nalin Mehta; a collaborative workshop in which participants designed responsible AI policies; and a site visit to IBM’s New Delhi office, where IBM researchers and staff presented their ongoing R&D efforts.

AI Connect Workshop 2

The second in-person AI Connect workshop convened in São Paulo, Brazil featured panels on tech and science cooperation, global AI policy challenges, data privacy, and technological innovation. Workshop participants also had the opportunity to meet with private sector AI developers and practitioners at the São Paulo facilities of IBM and Microsoft.

AI Connect Workshop 3

The third in-person AI Connect workshop in Prague, Czech Republic focused on the Eastern European AI policy ecosystem and featured keynote addresses from senior US and Czech government officials. Workshop participants learned from private sector representatives at Microsoft’s Prague Development Center, networked with local AI professionals, and attended the Czech Academy of Sciences’ SOLAIR conference.