Democratic governance of AI systems and datasets

May 17, 2024

We were invited by Think7, the think tank of the Italian G7 Presidency, to prepare a policy brief on the topic of “Democratic governance of AI systems and datasets.” The brief was delivered to Think7’s Task Force on Science and Digitalization for a Better Future. Its publication coincided with the T7 Italy Summit—“The G7 and the World: Rebuilding Bridges.”

The brief was written jointly by us, the Centre for European Policies (CEP), MicroSave Consulting, Digital Public Goods Alliance, EleutherAI, and Open Knowledge Foundation.

The brief outlines a policy agenda focused on addressing concentrations of power in AI through policies supporting democratic governance of these technologies. The starting point is a concern with the uneven allocation of AI’s benefits among and within societies and economies, worsening both domestic and global inequalities. In addition to limiting market competition and innovation, this concentration of power also translates into social challenges: global inequalities, risks of bias and disinformation, replacement of jobs, and lack of democratic control. The Hiroshima AI Process G7 Digital & Tech Ministers statement of 1 December 2023 states that one of the key goals of the process is “to maximize and share the benefits of this technology for the common good worldwide with partners beyond G7”.

The policy interventions outlined in this brief serve this purpose by supporting the democratization of AI technologies. Ensuring democratic governance of AI can lead to greater oversight and control of AI technologies and systems, level the playing field, make AI technologies more accessible, and ensure that AI deployment respects human rights and democratic values.

At the global scale, ensuring democratic governance of AI means addressing concerns for the global digital divide and inclusivity, building local capacity and engaging stakeholders in the global majority countries.

The brief outlines a set of policy interventions focused on providing the resources necessary to democratize AI development and use through digital public infrastructures and digital public goods provided by G7 member states. This includes computing power, training datasets, and open-source AI solutions. Additional recommendations concern managing AI-induced labor market changes and ensuring a framework for international and multilateral cooperation.


Read the brief


Alek Tarkowski
Zuzanna Warso
download as PDF:
keep up to date
and subscribe
to our newsletter