Exclusive interview with Murat Sönmez: We define regulations to enable positive use of technology
摘要： The center is about technology governance, how we define regulations and policies to enable positive use of technology and minimize negative use.
Written by Yi LIU, TMTpost
The World Economic Forum opened its Beijing center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Wednesday during the Summer Davos forum in Tianjin, China.
TMTpost had an exclusive interview with Murat Sönmez, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum, and the Global Head for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Center.
“The center is about technology governance, how we define regulations and policies to enable positive use of technology and minimize negative use.” Sönmez said, “It's not about technology development but how you take science to society much faster and create the regulatory framework.”
The Fourth Industrial Revolution Center is a global network. The headquarter was set up in San Francisco 18 months ago. There are 57 people in the headquarter. 39 are forum employees and 18 are fellows from partnering organizations and government.
Sönmez told TMTpost that areas, like artificial intelligence (AI), drones, precision medicine, new materials, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, blockchain, Internet of Thing, etc., represent big opportunities to solve some of the biggest challenges in the world. With these technologies, people can reduce energy consumption, reduce congestion in cities, improve agriculture yields, and maybe even cure cancer one day with access to data and machine learning. However, the current regulatory frameworks are not designed to take advantage of this. If AI is regulated in healthcare, it may get in the way of its use in agriculture or transportation.
Addressing some of these challenges require global collaboration. Sönmez said what happens in a small country like Rwanda will help to draw regulatory frameworks which could be adopted in larger economies because everyone is dealing with the same issues.
“We are very excited to open our center in Beijing. If you look at the 4th Industrial Revolution, you cannot ignore China, both from the size of economy and the amount of investments going in.” Sönmez said, ”We look forward to working with Chinese business, academia and the government to help make it happen.”
Sönmez shared that in San Francisco, the Fourth Industrial Revolution Center are already working with 14 governments and two Chinese partners. In India, the center is working with the government on AI and blockchain policy. In Japan, the team is working on data for healthcare, mobility and autonomous vehicles.
According to Sönmez, in China, there are so many projects that they can work on. The first step for them is to determine which are the critical areas of importance for China, and then to see how to connect them to the global initiative. They are in the definition phase around the first two months.
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