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World Economic Forum: Feb. 15-19

When Governments Buy AI Technologies: A Week with the World Economic Forum

February 15 - 19, 2021 |  See agenda  |  Zoom

How procurement guidelines can shape the development of AI technology and the future of smart cities.

In July 2020, the UK was the first national government to formally adopt the World Economic Forum AI procurement guidelines for governments. AI technologies are being adopted and adapted by governments at all levels without a global consensus about what counts as responsible AI. While the WEF guidelines were designed with national governments in mind, they could be adapted to support state and local governments. This week of programming explores how governmental recommendations for AI technologies will affect industry innovation, economic growth, and smart city strategies on a global scale, and is co-sponsored by the Strauss Center, Austin Technology IncubatorGood Systems, and The World Economic Forum. For more details, visit this website.

You are invited to join us for the Week with the World Economic Forum events taking place February 15 – 19, 2021:

Keynote Address

Monday, February 15
6 – 7:30 p.m.

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Welcome: Jay Hartzell
President, The University of Texas at Austin

Keynote address: Kay Firth-Butterfield 
Head of AI & ML, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum and Fellow, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas at Austin 

Panel Chair: Sharon Strover 
Co-director, Technology Information & Policy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin

Panelists: Christine Dixon-Thiesing (Associate Vice President for Research Innovation and Economic Impact, The University of Texas at Austin), Junfeng Jiao (Good Systems Executive Team Chair, The University of Texas at Austin), S. Craig Watkins (Good Systems Research Director for Racial Justice, The University of Texas at Austin

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Workshop for Graduate Students

Tuesday, February 16
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Closed session 

This workshop for graduate students helps them understand how to advance technology policy generally, and AI policy specifically.

Welcome: Eric Meyer
Dean, School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin

Facilitator: Kenneth R. Fleischmann
Founding Chair, Good Systems Executive Team

Presenters: Kay Firth-Butterfield (Head of AI & ML, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum and Fellow, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas at Austin), and Conor Sanchez (Project Specialist, World Economic Forum

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Panel: AI Procurement Policy for State, Regional, and Local Governments 

Wednesday, February 17
1 – 2:30 p.m.

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The WEF procurement guidelines were designed for national governments. But state, regional, and local governments will also purchase AI technologies. How can procurement guidelines be helpful to local governments as they think about purchasing AI technologies that will help them create smart cities? 

Welcome: Michelle Addington
Dean, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin

Panel Chair: Kay Firth-Butterfield
Head of AI & ML, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum and Fellow, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas at Austin 

Panelists: Coral Evans (Office of Senator Mark Kelly), Alex Goldberg (Chief Innovation Officer, Joint Force Headquarters, Texas National Guard), Sherri Greenberg (Professor of Practice, LBJ School of Public Affairs), Jeff Merritt (Head of Internet of Things, Robotics and Smart Cities, World Economic Forum

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Panel: Industry Response to Government Procurement Policy 

Thursday, February 18
8:30 – 10 a.m.

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Companies that develop and sell AI technologies to governments discuss how procurement guidelines influenced or will influence product development. Before and after examples show how privacy, transparency, fairness, and other ethical considerations can be embedded into AI technologies. 

Welcome: Lillian F. Mills 
Interim Dean, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

Panel Chair: Joydeep Ghosh
Schlumberger Centennial Chair in Electrical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Panelists: Stephen Elkins (Texas Client Director, Microsoft), Steve Elmore (Head of Client Services, KUNGFU.AI), Will Griffin (Chief Ethics Officer, Hypergiant)

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Panel: An International View of Smart Cities and Procurement

Friday, February 19
9 – 10:30 a.m.

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This international panel explores a variety of global perspectives that describe how procurement practices will influence the development of smart cities. Topics will include the ethical and practical implications of surveillance, social services, and autonomous delivery and transportation.

Welcome: Jennifer Lyon Gardner 
Deputy Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin

Panel Chair: Junfeng Jiao
Good Systems Executive Team Chair, The University of Texas at Austin

Panelists: Maria de Arteaga (Assistant Professor, Information, Risk and Operation Management, The University of Texas at Austin), Kay Firth-Butterfield (Head of AI & ML, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum and Fellow, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, The University of Texas at Austin), Hwanyong Kim (Associate Professor, Department of Architectural Design, Hanygang University), Tuan Nguyen (Deputy Director of Community & Brand, SGInnovate, Singapore)

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