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The World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution today created six councils to provide policy guidance and address governance gaps in areas like autonomous driving, precision medicine, blockchain, and AI.

The Global AI Council will be cochaired by Microsoft president Brad Smith and Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures and former president of Google China. Other members of the Global AI Council include Element AI, IEEE, IBM, Future of Life Institute, and government ministers from the United Kingdom, Colombia, and the United Arab Emirates, a WEF spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

An IoT Council will include Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon and World Wide Web Foundation CEO Adrian Lovett, while Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will act as a cochair for the Global Autonomous and Urban Mobility Council.

All six councils met today for the first time at an event held in San Francisco to discuss initial policy focus areas for the groups, a spokesperson said. A full list of the more than 200 public and private sector council members from around the world who will participate in global AI councils will be shared in July.


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The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is based in San Francisco and works with a group of more than 100 partner organizations through offices in China, India, Japan, and other parts of the world.

In an interview last month, director Kay Firth-Butterfield told VentureBeat about the need for native data and advisory councils for businesses making AI. Initiatives underway now include a procurement best practice policy for governments that will be considered by lawmakers in the United Kingdom this summer. The center is also working with the New Zealand government to reimagine the role of the regulator in the age of artificial intelligence.

In another recent multinational AI initiative, last week 42 nations signed onto OECD AI principles and recommendations.

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