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June 14, 2024

Conference

BCCP Conference and Policy Forum 2024
AI: Prospects, Challenges, and Regulation

Date

June 14, 2024
10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. CEST (Berlin)

Location

WZB - Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
Reichpietschufer 50
10785 Berlin

Speakers

Joanna Bryson (Hertie School Berlin), Alena Buyx (Chair of German Ethics Council), Oren Bar-Gill (Harvard University), Brando Benifei (European Parliament), Francesca Bria (UCL), Emilio Calvano (Luiss University), Flavio Calvino (OECD), Joshua Gans (University of Toronto), Moritz Hardt (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen), Amba Kak (AI Now Institute), Maximilian Kasy (Oxford University), Hannes Ullrich

Recent developments in AI, such as the much-discussed capabilities and limitations of generative language models like GPT-4, and their policy implications for competition and regulation are the focus of this year's conference. The EU's AI Act could be one of the first steps towards global regulation of AI technologies. On the one hand, task-based predictive systems and new generative tools can improve the allocation and use of resources, enable innovation, and increase welfare. On the other hand, uncontrolled deployment and concentration of power could lead to disruption and societal harm, not only in high-risk use cases of AI. In this conference, we will discuss recent developments and regulatory initiatives and provide an outlook on future challenges.

Registration to the event is closed.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let Friederike Theilen-Kosch at WZB (friederike.theilen-kosch@wzb.eu) know if you require special assistance.

Updated information about the event is also available at the BCCP Conference website.

Session Overview

Session 1: Shaping and Governing AI for Today and Tomorrow

The much-discussed capabilities and limitations of generative language models like GPT-4 have stirred controversies about how AI is and will be changing economic and societal outcomes. While AI tools are propagating fast in many applications, much uncertainty persists, which requires further technological innovations, experimentation, and careful policy design. The EU's AI Act is one attempt to guide the application of AI in areas of varying risk but its ability to foster beneficial innovation and sustainable growth is yet to be proven. Do we have clear definitions in policy discussions? What are the fundamental challenges in using AI for the societal benefit? Can AI risks be analyzed by regarding predictive systems in isolation or do they require taking a stance on potentially diverging objectives in organizations and society? How can we discuss AI alignment in concrete terms? What is the role of designers of AI tools? Can AI governance keep up with its deployment and use in practice?

Joanna Bryson
Professor of Ethics and Technology, Hertie School of Governance 

Flavio Calvino
Team Leader, Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Division, OECD 

Joshua Gans 
Professor of Strategic Management, University of Toronto

Maximilian Kasy 
Professor of Economics, Oxford University

Moderated by Hannes Ullrich, DIW Berlin and University of Copenhagen

BCCP conference @X

Session 2: AI: The Next Frontier in Competition and Consumer Policies

The emergence of a small number of extremely powerful digital ecosystems over the past two decades and the corresponding concentration of power have sparked a critical debate about the role of competition policy and regulation in digital markets. The perceived failure of ex-post antitrust enforcement to curb the growing abuse of such concentrated power by technology companies led in part to the introduction of ex-ante regulations such as the DSA (Digital Services Act), DMA (Digital Markets Act), and AIA (Artificial Intelligence Act). Calls for a more cautious approach to AI are motivated by the fact that the AI tech stack is already dominated by the same few giants such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Nvidia. While delivering sizable benefits, how may AI reinforce and exacerbate consumer harm in concentrated markets? How far can policy interventions aimed at protecting competition go to address the key threats that AI poses to consumers and society? What should be the enforcement focus - and what are the enforcement challenges - for new regulations such as the DSA and DMA? Should policymakers be particularly concerned about competitive developments in the generative AI stack and act more preventively than in the past?

Oren Bar-Gill
Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard University 

Joanna Bryson
Professor of Ethics and Technology, Hertie School of Governance  

Emilio Calvano
Professor of Economics, Luiss University   

Moritz Hardt
Director, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen  

Moderated by Hans W. Friederiszick (Managing Director, E.CA Economics and Research Fellow, European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin))

Policy Roundtable: Perspectives on the State of AI Policy

This policy roundtable will provide an up-to-date discussion of the state of current and future policy initiatives concerning AI. The EU's AI Act is one attempt to guide the application of AI in areas of varying risk but its ability to foster beneficial innovation and sustainable growth has yet to be proven. Has Europe lost the innovation race in generative AI development? Is Europe killing AI innovation through its regulatory approach or setting the global regulatory agenda? Are Europe and its member countries prepared for the ongoing wave of AI applications? How do policy approach on AI differ between regions, notably between Europe and the US? What role do European regulations play from a global perspective? 

Brando Benifei
Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur on the AI Act

Francesca Bria
Honorary Professor, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London
Board Member of RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana

Alena Buyx
Professor of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies, TU Munich
Former Chair of the German Ethics Council, 2020-2024  

Amba Kak
Executive Director, AI Now Institute
Member of the Board, Signal Foundation

Moderated by Anna Sauerbrey, Die ZEIT

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