IoT, AI and the Future of Trust

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As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) coalesce to create unique outcomes and opportunities, the need to strengthen the trust, transparency and fairness of these socio-technical systems is central for a balanced Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The challenges are multidimensional. Artificial Intelligence systems (and the platforms and IoT sensors which feed data into them) are impacting governments, enterprises, individuals and institutions in multiple ways. From transportation, to health, to finance, to commerce, the effects of these systems are felt but rarely seen.  Whether by accident or design, these systems operate in the background of our lives. Their lack legibility and transparency creates a fog of understanding over how AI and IoT are shaping society.  Our ability as a society to recognize, understand and correct harmful AI and IoT societal impacts is limited. Progress is stalled.
A more holistic set of governance frameworks for AI and IoT systems is needed. The overwhelming complexity, concentrated power asymmetries, competing incentives and global data flows create a new set of challenges which our existing institutions were not designed to address. A shared taxonomy of risks, pragmatic impact assessment tools and enabling policy frameworks are needed to ensure the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can be realized. 


The intent of this network is to catalyse enabling governance mechanisms so that the trustworthiness, inclusion and confidence of stakeholders is strengthened. In particular, the network will aim to:

  • Increase awareness among senior leaders on the need for framing the emerging and probable societal risks of AI and IoT. The intent is to separate near term and probable risks from long-term and unlikely fears (measurable risks versus perceived fears).

  • Establish a critical literacy and simple tools for the “smart questions for leaders to ask” in assessing the impact (positive and negative impacts) of AI driven systems

  • Strengthen the coordination among key stakeholders to act with greater trust, transparency and accountability

  • Align on the shared norms, principles and measurements for effective governance mechanisms which are secure, transparent, auditable, inclusive and fair.

  • Embed a community of experts within a series of pilots, where they can establish mechanisms to assess and ensure that identified risks and ethical uncertainties at the local, national and global level are being appropriately managed