Vector Institute partners with World Economic Forum on responsible artificial intelligence and research insights

September 14, 2023

2023 News

Vector amplifies influence in global AI landscape as Vector’s CEO and President Tony Gaffney joins AI Governance Alliance and Vector Faculty Member Jeff Clune joins Safe Systems and Technologies counsel

Toronto, September 14, 2023 — Today, the Vector Institute announced a new partnership with the World Economic Forum. Through the collaboration, Vector’s CEO and President Tony Gaffney will join the World Economic Forum’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance Alliance while Vector Faculty Member; Canada CIFAR AI Chair; Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of British Columbia; and DeepMind Senior Research Advisor Jeff Clune joins the World Economic Forum’s Safe Systems and Technologies counsel. The World Economic Forum will also gain access to Vector Institute research insights and thought leadership through a content partnership which will amplify Canada’s world-leading AI research across the globe.

The World Economic Forum’s AI Governance Alliance initiative is focused on the responsible development and deployment of generative AI systems. It seeks to address critical issues as society enters a rapidly changing socio-economic era driven by AI innovation. By uniting influential voices from across the globe, this alliance aims to harness the benefits of generative AI while ensuring equitable and sustainable global impacts. 

Working with these global AI leaders, Gaffney will bring Vector’s AI Trust and Safety Principles to organizations and research efforts, along with expertise in advancing responsible AI through formulating and implementing recommendations for the responsible design, development, and deployment of generative AI systems.

“Generative AI holds both incredible promise and potential risks,” says Gaffney. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that AI always serves humanity’s best interests. The AI Governance Alliance serves as a critical platform, uniting global perspectives from industry, governments, and civil society. I am honoured to join this collaborative group dedicated to advocacy for the responsible governance of AI. The Vector Institute is already driving safe AI here in Canada through research, industry partnerships, and consultation with governments, and it’s through international engagements like the Alliance that we can bring Canada’s leadership, experience and expertise to our global AI ecosystem.”

Vector Faculty Member; Canada CIFAR AI Chair; Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of British Columbia; and DeepMind Senior Research Advisor Jeff Clune is also set to join the World Economic Forum’s Safe Systems and Technologies counsel. This initiative brings together Chief Science Officers and AI producers to establish technical safeguards in response to the rapid advancement of generative AI systems. The primary objective is to create consensus on necessary safeguards during development, including clearly defined off-limits areas. This work encompasses shared terminology, alignment with human values and ethics, enhanced transparency, and robust evaluation methods for generative AI technologies.

The Vector Institute and World Economic Forum’s content partnership ensures that Vector’s world-class AI expertise augments the World Economic Forum’s community content, bringing Vector’s technical insights and ethical AI leadership to millions of World Economic Forum subscribers, partners, and academic institutions around the globe. 

The Vector Institute, Gaffney, and Clune are deeply honoured to contribute to the global conversation on responsible AI through their participation in these World Economic Forum initiatives. Their involvement underscores Canada’s leadership in governing the advancement of ethical AI worldwide. 


The Vector Institute

Launched in 2017, the Vector Institute works with industry, institutions, startups, and governments to build AI talent and drive research excellence in AI to develop and sustain AI-based innovation to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.

Vector aims to advance AI research, increase adoption in industry and health through programs for talent, commercialization, and application, and lead Canada towards the responsible use of AI. Programs for industry, led by top AI practitioners, offer foundations for applications in products and processes, company-specific guidance, training for professionals, and connections to workforce-ready talent. Vector is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and leading industry sponsors from across multiple sectors of Canadian Industry.


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