Workshop on the Governance of AI through Soft Law

On January 10th, 2020 the Center for Law, Science and Innovation hosted a workshop in ASU’s Washington DC’s office with 30 representatives from academia, the private sector, and non-profits to discuss the relationship between soft law and artificial intelligence (AI). This activity was funded by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.


The workshop’s objective was to examine the historical role of soft law in the governance of important issues in varied contexts such as: environmental policy, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information and communication technologies.

This information provided participants with background information as to how soft law mechanisms have been used to complement the regulatory approaches to emerging technologies and informed their discussion on its relevance to AI.


Subsequently, the Center presented its project to compile existing soft law mechanisms directed at AI. This effort is aimed at understanding how government and non-government entities engage in soft law approaches to govern AI throughout the globe and in different industries. In May of 2020, participants will meet again, following the Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science, to examine the results of the compilation and share essays on current examples of the soft law governance of AI.

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