A Global Civic Debate on Governing the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Download the Report

A Global Civic Debate
on Governing the Rise of Artificial Intelligence


The Future Society coordinated an unprecedented 7-month civic consultation open to the public to better understand the rise, dynamics and consequences of AI (www.aicivicdebate.org). Engineered through the online collective intelligence platform Assembl and over 20 global events, we assembled a diverse community of over 2,000 participants from around the world, with over 3,300 contributions in five languages (English, Chinese, French, Japanese and Russian), to garner novel perspectives on the governance of AI.

From September 2017 to March 2018, we collectively forged new insights on how the AI revolution is playing out and how we begin to govern this technology to capture the upsides, minimize the downsides and ensure that its benefits reach everyone. We aim to translate this effort into actionable global policy recommendations and collectively shape our AI future.


Release of the Report at the European Parliament


Join us on September 26, 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels for the release the report of our Global Civic Debate on ‘Governing the rise of AI’.

This event will bring together policymakers, AI experts and civil society representatives and is organized in partnership with the Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake.

Expect a unique opportunity to take a seat at the table for shaping the global policy agenda on AI, immersive experience with artistic design installation, and interactive workshops!

This event is free and open to all, so feel free to invite your network! You can reserve a spot for you and a colleague by clicking here:


About the Global Civic Debate on the Governance of AI


The advent of Artificial Intelligence and its widespread application will create profound and irrevocable changes to humanity. This technological surge is hailed as the most revolutionary in history because it is expected to transform the fabric of our society, cutting across civilizations, industry domains, and national boundaries. Understanding the depth of this impact remains nascent, with no one country, industry, discipline, or group of experts having the capability to holistically manage the revolution alone.

To address this challenge, in September 2017 we launched a Global Civic Debate to understand the impact and governance of the rise of AI. We led this endeavor through a curated collective intelligence platform and methodology, as well as online and offline events, which were inclusive and open to everyone.

Many people, from media to academics and experts to business leaders, were calling for a public debate on how the AI revolution should be governed. Through grassroot efforts and an array of 17 global partnerships, we convened a diverse community to better understand how the revolution is playing out, its consequences, and how they must be governed to maximize benefits, minimize risks, and ensure the benefits reach everyone.

Our civic debate confronted challenging questions such as: How can we use AI to increase access to credit, insurance, or personalized medicine, without sacrificing our privacy and security? How do we revamp our labor markets and education systems to deal with the massive automation wave? How do we prevent an arms race or ensure these systems are safe and benefit humanity? These are big questions that will impact us all. Since no single entity can approach such questions alone, we deployed the collective intelligence of a diverse community to search for solutions.

It is our conviction that the AI revolution is a global phenomenon which calls for global coordination. We therefore engineered a global conversation by making the platform available in five languages, which transcended civilizational boundaries. We sought to design a discussion that had the courage to confront and align value systems. We knew this would be a challenge but pursued this ambition with citizens across the world.

In closing the civic debate in March 2018, we were deeply encouraged by the progress made, not only in answering the questions but also in meaningfully engaging with the community to unearth salient insights regarding our hopes, fears, and expectations. This report is a first effort to harness and synthesize the deluge of data gathered from our multilingual community.

In the report, we will present the key insights that have resulted from this cross-country collective intelligence exercise, as well as practical policy recommendations.