IGF 2022 WS #497 Designing an AI ethical framework in the Global South

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (10:50 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (12:20 UTC)
Banquet Hall B

Organizer 1: Cynthia Picolo de Azevedo Carvalho, Laboratory of Public Policy and Internet (LAPIN)
Organizer 2: Alexandra Krastins Lopes, Brazilian Data Protection Authority (ANDP)
Organizer 3: Gabriela Buarque, Laboratory of Public Policy and Internet (LAPIN)

Speaker 1: Thiago Moraes, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Juan Carlos Lara G., Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Smriti Parsheera, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Wayne Wei Wang, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Bobina Zulfa, Civil Society, African Group


Cynthia Picolo de Azevedo Carvalho, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Alexandra Krastins Lopes, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Gabriela Buarque, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Other - 90 Min
Format description: The aim of this proposal is to explore how regulatory frameworks for AI have been shaped in the Global South as well as to what extent they align with UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. As such, we trust a hybrid session with an expository presentation (panel) followed by a round-table discussion will fit the objectives we look for. In the first moment, speakers will be invited to briefly present the most important AI regulatory initiatives from their countries (5 min. each). Their initial remarks will be based on questions previously made by the moderator. After that, we will move to a more round-table format, where the moderator will provoke the panelists to provide information to help answer the three policy questions. Speakers may intervene into one another’s consideration to further investigate an issue, add an observation or even question on a specific topic. We will also have a Q&A round with questions from the onsite/online audience. A debate with an expository part followed by a more active discussion will make this session both informative and participatory. For more details on the session dynamics, please check the topic “Ensuring Implementation of a Hybrid Session”.

Policy Question(s)

The policy questions our proposal intends to respond are: 1. What steps have the selected States taken in creating a regulatory framework for AI? Are they taking diversity and multistakeholderism into account? 2. What are the oversight and enforcement mechanisms being structured? Is it centralised, polycentric, or totally diffused? 3. To what extent are the initiatives aligned with UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence?

Connection with previous Messages: The proposed session will explore how AI is being regulated in the Global South. The analysis on regulatory frameworks will consider inclusion, especially of marginalized groups, oversight and enforcement mechanisms. All these elements will be put into perspective of what UNESCO recommends in terms of an ethical AI. Thus, the session is directly related to the IGF 2021 message of Economic and Social Inclusion and Human Rights.


Targets: The objective of the proposed session is more than exploring regulatory frameworks for AI. It intends to reinforce the importance of diversity and multistakeholderism in these processes, so that the development and use of AI is truly human-centered. Thus, several voices must be heard. Connected to this is the question of oversight and enforcement mechanisms. Ensuring that AI actors follow principles and rules, being held accountable for damages caused, is crucial for upholding the rights of affected individuals - often marginalized groups. We will draw attention to these factors during our session, linking them to international recommendations already endorsed by the selected States. Advocating for a transparent, inclusive regulatory process that provides for mechanisms to ensure accountability is necessary (SDG 16), so that AI serves the common good, without discrimination of any kind (SGD 10).


The session intends to critically analyze and map convergences and divergences in initiatives taken to regulate AI in the Global South. To this end, the discussion will focus on countries such as Brazil, Chile, Índia, Nigéria, and China, as they were identified as having either robust regulatory mechanisms under implementation or being actively debated. Considering that a regulatory framework does not necessarily rely only on laws, we will first explore what sort of initiatives the selected States have advanced. Are there any legislation, bills, policies and/or national strategies seeking to establish rules or recommendations for the development and use of artificial intelligence? If so, what are their main features? Maybe even more importantly, how these countries are defining their AI oversight and enforcement regime? These are the guiding questions that will set the floor to explore particularities in such initiatives in terms of inclusion, respect for people’s rights and adherence to international commitments. From there, we will investigate if and to what extent different actors have been involved in regulatory discussions. The investigation will be based on criteria such as: (i) Diversity (race, gender, geographic area, expertise); (ii) Multistakeholderism (vulnerable groups, civil society, academia, public and private sectors); and (iii) Avenues that allow stakeholders to be heard (public hearings, working groups, local debates, etc). Finally, the previous assessments will be analysed in comparison to UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. This final evaluation will provide insights from a broader perspective on transposing (or not) official endorsements taken at the international arena to the national level.

Expected Outcomes

With this session, we expect to provide the audience with a big picture on Global South regulatory frameworks and their respective oversight and enforcement mechanisms, departing from their hard structure to how their processes have incorporated people’s rights and international standards. Moreover, we intend to identify trends among the selected States, so that a reflection on their roots can be made. The reflections of this debate will serve as inputs for a comprehensive research report, which shall be released with an interview with one or all of the speakers. In addition, we intend to prepare a workshop on trustworthy AI for Brazilian stakeholders involved in AI regulation, sharing the findings and lessons learned from other experiences.

Hybrid Format: Preparatory meetings between LAPIN team and speakers will take place before the event. This will help to structure the presentation and create synergy among participants. That occasion will also serve to clarify doubts about the session and IGF rules. Moreover, at least one month before the event we will release content on social media about the topic. This 'warm-up' will serve to arouse the audience's interest, curiosity and doubts. From that moment, we will receive questions and observations that will be passed on to the panelists. At the presentation day, we will organize different forms of engagement to respect onsite and online formats. First, remote speakers’ participation will be projected on a screen. Second, LAPIN will have a dedicated person who will serve as a point of contact between online and onsite participants, and provide assistance in case of technical problems. This will ensure a smooth session as much as possible. We plan a 1h30 session, which will consist of: (i) 5 minutes to introduce the topic and present the speakers; (ii) 25 minutes for initial presentations of the speakers (5 minutes each); (iii) 55 minutes of dynamic discussion between speakers and audience, guided by the moderator. Questions will come from the moderator and the online/onsite audience, alternately. Online questions can be sent through IGF platform’s chat, LAPIN’s social media or Jamboard. We will take note of not addressed questions to forward them to the panelists, whose answers will be shared on our social media. (v) 5 minutes to sum up the points covered and close the panel.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The AI ethical framework in the Global South relies on hard and soft law. Countries like Brazil, Chile and China are closer in the development of hard law, while in other regions like Africa and India the soft law approach predominates. In any case, there is an intense connection with development and innovation when it comes to AI and regulations need to consider ethical guidelines, human rights, diversity and multistakeholderism.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Government: be more transparent and inclusive, considering most vulnerable groups in the debate. Civil society: keep strengthening underrepreresented voices and raising issues related to impact to human rights when it comes to AI use and development.