“Technological innovation, especially in artificial intelligence and robotics, is another area that Japan will ask world leaders to discuss”, The Japan Times reported on December 23, 2018 about Japan’s priorities for the G20 agenda in 2019 during its presidency. During Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Japan in February 2019 artificial intelligence was also high on the agenda.
The German-Japanese Forum proposed in the recommendations of the meeting in fall 2018: “In that context, one specific recommendation that we would like to bring to your and your governments' attention is to organize a German-Japanese Artificial Intelligence Summit to bring together high-level representatives from government and business with an interest in issues related to fostering the competitiveness of our companies in AI development and applications. At the same time, we recommend that your governments undertake joint initiatives to develop international rules and regulations to govern the development of Artificial Intelligence with a view to foreclose potentially dangerous developments.” Both Germany and Japan have made AI strategy a high priority in R&D and politics including the changes it will bring to the social and industrial structure. Germany and Japan have an interest in a level playing field with other major players.
In 2019, Japan will host the G20 summit for the first time. As democratic and liberal countries that have shared values and consistently defend and promote multilateralism and a rule-based international order, Japan and Germany play an important role in promoting principles and guidelines regarding the benefits and risks of AI.
In the forthcoming conference the implications of AI for our industries, economies, societies and politics will be discussed and its impact for new technologies will be assessed. Ethical questions like how can AI be beneficial for a human-centered society as well as common approaches to standardization will be discussed. Opportunities to strengthen German/European-Japanese cooperation in the field of AI and its regulations will be considered by various groups of stakeholders and experts from politics, industry, academia and research.
Session 1: Japan’s and Germany’s AI strategies
In this session the Japanese and German AI strategies shall be introduced and discussed. In March 2017 the Japanese “Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy” was published, which focuses on promoting AI development and developing phases and priorities for industrialization including productivity, healthcare, and mobility. In June 2018, the Japanese government announced that artificial intelligence would also become an official part of its “integrated innovation strategy.” – In Germany the government passed its “Strategy Artifical Intelligence” in November 2018.
Session 2: AI as a challenge for societies and in the international arena
In Japan and in Germany AI is perceived as a technology that challenges societies and needs principles and guidelines for its implementation. In Japan 9 principles were suggested. The German government aims at embedding AI in the framework of a broad societal dialogue in which ethical, cultural, juridical and institutional questions shall be discussed. Japan and Germany should compare and discuss discuss their approaches also in order to support a human-centered, transparent and ethical handling of AI in the international arena. In this session government representatives shall discuss their approaches with representatives from society and academia.
Session 3: AI and industry: “industry 4.0”, “Society 5.0”, questions of standardization
Industry 4.0 and society 5.0 are the well-known frameworks in which AI has to find its place. Furthermore AI goes along with questions of regulation and standardization in a technical sense. These questions shall be discussed here. Speakers will be from industry, academia and governmental institutions. Examples of AI application might be introduced as well.
Session 4: Digital skills, AI and the working environment
AI will change the work environment and the skills needed in fundamental way. Human capabilities will be complemented by AI and expanded. But it will also replace humans at work. How digital skills and advanced digital tools, such as AI, can be developed and how digital learning, AI-based man-machine cooperation, and new workstyles for innovation can be integrated will be discussed by experts in this session.