The Impact of AI on Geopolitics and Globalization
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to become a game-changer in both geopolitics and globalization, as asserted by Ian Bremmer, a renowned political scientist and the President of the Eurasia Group. In a recent interview with CNBC’s Tania Bryer for “The CNBC Conversation,” Bremmer elaborated on the profound implications of AI on the world stage.
The Positive Implications of AI on Globalization
Bremmer highlights the potential for AI to usher in a new era of globalization, addressing uncertainties surrounding the current state and future of this global phenomenon. He suggests that AI has the power to bolster the emergence of a global middle class, making it accessible to anyone with a smartphone. This democratization of AI can enhance human capital worldwide and fuel advancements in critical areas such as medicine and education, while also streamlining industrial and scientific processes.
The Enthusiasm for AI’s Positive Impact
Bremmer’s perspective on AI is characterized by enthusiasm for its potential to positively transform the world. He envisions a future where this technology contributes significantly to societal progress.
The Cautionary Note: Risks and Governance Challenges
However, Bremmer does not overlook the risks associated with AI. He emphasizes the need for robust governance to navigate potential disruptions. AI’s versatility means it can be used for both constructive and harmful purposes, from coding to hacking systems or creating malware, as well as developing vaccines or viruses.
The Call for Comprehensive Governance
Bremmer underscores that effective governance must extend beyond governments alone, encompassing technology companies. He acknowledges that the world is not fully prepared for the governance challenges posed by AI.
Policymakers’ Evolving Awareness
Despite initial lag, global leaders and policymakers are gradually recognizing the significance of AI. Bremmer notes that AI has become a central topic of discussion among global leaders, including countries like China, the U.S., and the U.K., and international organizations such as the European Union and G7. They are now actively learning about AI and assessing its implications.
The Rush to Understand and Regulate AI
As the AI boom gained momentum at the end of 2022, countries worldwide raced to comprehend and regulate this technology. Lawmakers faced significant challenges due to AI’s rapid expansion into the public domain, accompanied by diverse challenges ranging from job security to national security.
Legislative Efforts and Regulations
Bremmer highlights various legislative efforts, such as the EU’s regulations on AI tools and China’s rules for generative AI services. These actions signify a growing awareness of the need for AI regulation.
The Prerequisite for Effective Regulation
Bremmer insists that a comprehensive understanding of AI is essential before effective governance can be established. He proposes the establishment of a United Nations-driven process—an intergovernmental panel on artificial intelligence. This panel would unite governments, scientists, and companies to delineate AI’s capabilities, principal actors, opportunities, and dangers.
The Necessity of Global Collaboration
Bremmer emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in the AI domain rather than competition. AI’s decentralized, open-source nature means that access to the latest developments is not restricted. Global oversight, perhaps through a “geo-technology stability board,” could help ensure AI’s responsible and sustainable use without stifling innovation.
Moving Beyond Geopolitical Competition
In conclusion, Bremmer calls for a collaborative approach, asserting that it cannot be a competition between nations like the U.S. and China. Instead, it requires a collective effort to safeguard the global AI market’s integrity.
International Willingness to Collaborate
Some countries, including France, have already shown their willingness to collaborate on AI regulation and engage with peers on this crucial topic.