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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary calls for international framework regarding AI

The focal points of this proposed framework are transparency, accountability, and the safeguarding of critical civilian infrastructure.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi has recently articulated a compelling call for the establishment of a comprehensive international framework governing the ethical utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) and cyberspace technologies. 

Imperative of International Collaboration

Foreign Secretary Qazi’s resounding call for a globally applicable framework highlights Pakistan’s dedication to nurturing international collaboration. The focal points of this proposed framework are transparency, accountability, and the safeguarding of critical civilian infrastructure. The recent workshop in Islamabad, jointly hosted by the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), served as a platform for an in-depth exploration of the convergence of AI and cyberspace concerning global security.

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Pakistan’s Articulation of AI Ethics

Mr. Qazi expounded upon Pakistan’s principled stance on AI, characterised by a commitment to responsible governance, active engagement in international dialogues, and an inclusive policy development approach. Acknowledging the dual nature of AI technologies, with particular attention to unregulated military applications, Pakistan is actively collaborating with the global community to address cyber threats and mitigate the risks associated with AI’s military use.

Equitable Access and Opposition to Restrictions

Integral to Pakistan’s position is its unwavering support for fair, unconditional, and equitable access to emerging technologies for all nations. Mr. Qazi explicitly voiced opposition to undue restrictions on technological access, emphasising the potential hindrance such limitations pose to the scientific and technological development of nations. The principled stance is grounded in the commitment to preventing the creation of a new layer of discrimination, especially between developed and developing nations.

Inclusive Policymaking for a Secure Cyberspace

Foreign Secretary Qazi emphasised Pakistan’s advocacy for an inclusive policy making approach, involving governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society. The objective is to collaboratively formulate strategies for ensuring a secure, stable, and open cyberspace. The inclusive framework, as advocated by Pakistan, stands as a strategic imperative in navigating the multifaceted challenges presented by rapid advancements in AI and cyberspace.

Ethical Considerations and Challenges

UNIDIR’s senior researcher Dongyoun Cho shed light on the ethical dimensions of AI, particularly emphasising the role of data as both a driving force for AI advancements and a potential source of ethical and humanitarian concerns. Incomplete, low-quality, or inaccurate data, as highlighted by Cho, underscores the necessity of addressing ethical considerations in the development and deployment of AI technologies.

Call for Proactive Responses

CISS Executive Director Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi underscored the transformative influence of technological advancements on security and urged for a proactive and informed response to navigate the challenges posed by these changes. His call for a proactive approach aligns with the broader theme of anticipatory collaboration in the face of technological disruptions.

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As the global community grapples with the transformative potentials and challenges associated with the convergence of AI and cyberspace, Pakistan’s clarion call for a binding global framework signifies a commitment to ethical governance, international collaboration, and universal access. In essence, Pakistan’s proactive stance serves as a beacon for responsible and inclusive global cooperation in managing the complexities of emerging technologies within an ever-evolving global landscape.