Spain, through the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence attached to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, has joined the US and the UK in launching the OECD's Global Forum on Technology. The project, announced at the last OECD Ministerial Conference on the Digital Economy held in Gran Canaria, aims to establish a fixed venue for dialogue on the opportunities and risks of new technology.
The Global Forum on Technology will follow the standards and development of all OECD Global Forums, while building on and joining other international efforts such as the Future Technology Forum, which was organized by the UK during its presidency of the G7, and the recent OECD Digital Economy Summit. This deployment aims to draw up a common roadmap that explores the economic and social opportunities of the digital transition, while also analyzing its impact on a large scale and making decisions accordingly.
Among future activities, the project will operate at two levels: one with experts, representatives of business and civil society; and the other at the highest ministerial or governmental level, with meetings every two years to advance global governance for digital transformation.
The creation of this Forum complements the Declaration for a Digital Future that is Reliable, Inclusive and Sustainable, which was signed during the Ministerial Conference, and which reflects the commitment of OECD member states, the EU and allied countries to activate a double transition: digital and green. To this effect, the Global Forum on Technology aims to open a direct channel of communication, exchange and debate to help the societies of these countries to adapt and take advantage of this change.
The announcement was made on 15 December by OECD Deputy Secretary-General Ulrik Vestergaard, Spanish Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence Carme Artigas, UK Director General for the Digital Economy Susannah Storey and US Ambassador for Cybersecurity and Digital Policy Nathaniel Flick.
"I am going to be very honest: the world needs this Forum," Artigas declared at the launch event. "There is still no international organization or entity that considers the implementation of certain emerging technologies across society," he added.
Spain's interests include the deployment of neurotechnology and quantum computing. The first is included in the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, to which the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan has earmarked €600 million until 2023, and is home to projects such as the pioneering National Neurotechnology Centre, based on the campus of the Autonomous University of Madrid. For its part, the Quantum Spain program, which aims to create a quantum computing ecosystem and envisages a total investment of €60 million, has led to Spain being selected to host one of the first European quantum computers.
OECD Global Technology Forum Missions
Specifically, the Global Technology Forum would act as a medium- to long-term venue to engage OECD members and non-members in dialogue with industry, trade unions, academia, civil society and technical communities to, among other things:
- Foster strategic dialogue and international cooperation, informed by external expertise and initiatives, on issues at the vanguard of the global digital and technology policy debate.
- Identify and analyze specific technological developments where there are gaps in existing fora, their potential social, economic and sustainability impacts and possible implications for policy and regulatory frameworks.
- Explore emerging approaches to the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging technologies and business models, including agile regulation, anticipatory policies and holistic policy frameworks.
- Exchange good practices in technology governance to build trust among participants and foster common and coherent approaches.
Spain's participation in the Global Forum of Technology is a response to continue deploying at international level the Charter of Digital Rights, a reference guide to put people at the center of digitalization strategies.
"We hope that this Forum will provide information on the production of emerging technologies oriented towards technological humanism as part of a future recommendation on human rights in the digital age," said Secretary of State Carme Artigas.
Original statement from La Moncloa (Spanish Presidency)