Should Artificial Intelligence Governance be Centralised?: Design Lessons from History

In Proceedings of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, 228–34. New York NY USA: ACM, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1145/3375627.3375857

11 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2021

See all articles by Peter Cihon

Peter Cihon

Center for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford

Matthijs M. Maas

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge; University of Cambridge - King's College, Cambridge; University of Copenhagen - CECS- Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies

Luke Kemp

Australian National University (ANU) - The Fenner School of Environment and Society

Date Written: February 8, 2020

Abstract

Can effective international governance for artificial intelligence remain fragmented, or is there a need for a centralised international organisation for AI? We draw on the history of other international regimes to identify advantages and disadvantages in centralising AI governance. Some considerations, such as efficiency and political power, speak in favour of centralisation. Conversely, the risk of creating a slow and brittle institution speaks against it, as does the difficulty in securing participation while creating stringent rules. Other considerations depend on the specific design of a centralised institution. A well-designed body may be able to deter forum shopping and ensure policy coordination. However, forum shopping can be beneficial and a fragmented landscape of institutions can be self-organising. Centralisation entails trade-offs and the details matter. We conclude with two core recommendations. First, the outcome will depend on the exact design of a central institution. A well-designed centralised regime covering a set of coherent issues could be beneficial. But locking-in an inadequate structure may pose a fate worse than fragmentation. Second, for now fragmentation will likely persist. This should be closely monitored to see if it is self-organising or simply inadequate.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, AI, Governance, International Institutions, Regimes, Fragmentation, Centralization, Regime Complexity

Suggested Citation

Cihon, Peter and Maas, Matthijs M. and Kemp, Luke, Should Artificial Intelligence Governance be Centralised?: Design Lessons from History (February 8, 2020). In Proceedings of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, 228–34. New York NY USA: ACM, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1145/3375627.3375857 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3761636 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3761636

Peter Cihon

Center for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

Matthijs M. Maas (Contact Author)

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

University of Cambridge - King's College, Cambridge

King's Parade
Cambridge, CB2 1ST
United Kingdom

University of Copenhagen - CECS- Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, DK-2300
Denmark

Luke Kemp

Australian National University (ANU) - The Fenner School of Environment and Society ( email )

Bldg 48 Linnaeus Way
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
49
Abstract Views
254
PlumX Metrics