This report offers an overview of State actions in artificial intelligence (AI), focusing specifically on national strategies and plans and related government investments, major venture capital funds and industry venture capital funding. Many governments and companies are active in AI. However, for the purposes of this report, only those States currently with or having demonstrated some form of interest in developing an AI national strategy or plan at the time of writing are considered here. Additional criteria for inclusion are that there must be open source, unclassified information and data, and that this information and data must be available in English. The author has found that, of the 193 Member States of the United Nations, only 41 States meet the stated criteria. Notably, it has been observed that there are few States with AI national strategies or plans or significant investments in several geographic regions across the globe, including: South America, Central America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Moreover, of the 41 States described, only 19 of these have actually released an AI national strategy or plan.
As AI continues to accelerate in its global development and deployment, it incumbent upon States to engage in the drafting and the execution of AI national plans and related investments. Maintaining a strategic focus on a disruptive technology such as AI is critical for States to guide posture with respect to their economic, cultural and national interests – all of which will be impacted by AI.
Crime, justice and social stability are also among the many issues to be affected by advancements in AI. In addition to several positive applications for law enforcement (for example, predictive policing), AI can be used globally maliciously (for example, enhanced cyber-hacking and fake news). Inequality and labour disruption due to AI are two further issues that have potential to cause economic disturbances. Such disruptions could also give rise to increased crime as inequality increases and fewer opportunities are available for making a living wage.
This report has been prepared by Dr. Thomas A. Campbell of FutureGrasp. The Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics of UNICRI provided advisory support during its drafting, for which FutureGrasp gratefully acknowledges Mr. Irakli Beridze, Head of the UNICRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and Mr. Odhran McCarthy, Senior Fellow, UNICRI. Critical reviews provided by Mr. Jon Fetzer, FutureGrasp, Dr. Saurabh Mishra, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and Mr. Nicolai Wadstrom, BootstrapLabs, are also thankfully recognized.