S20 contribution to G20 Digital Economy Taskforce Meeting

The Science 20 attended the third G20 Digital Economy Taskforce Meeting on June 3-4, 2020.

The S20 Sherpa, Dr. Amal Fatani, addressed the G20 leaders with the following speech:

“On behalf of the Science 20, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for inviting the us to the third G20 Digital Economy Taskforce Meeting. We welcome this meeting and support its goals. We also welcome the G20 Dialogue on AI held a couple of days ago.

The S20’s theme for 2020 is Foresight: Science for Navigating Critical Transitions. It is a call to action aimed at maximizing opportunities and minimizing disruption brought about by the fast-evolving, complex, and interconnected socio-technological developments. As we are all currently witnessing the interface of the COVID-19 pandemic and its environmental connections, we are required to response with digital solutions.

Recognizing the significant value that the Digital Economy brings to combatting such pandemics, we call on the G20 Digital Economy Leaders to achieve urgent progress in:

  1. Adhering to responsible AI and machine learning principles and practices to develop human-centric and inclusive predictive computational models and simulations.
  2. Ensuring that the research and deployment of digital health technologies and data processing mechanisms are trustworthy, evidence-based and human-centric, and that any monitoring or tracing tools respects privacy and human rights.
  3. Developing solutions to improve urban resiliency by harnessing digitization and encouraging urban development with smart city infrastructure, smart homes, and autonomous transportation systems that enables swift emergency responses and management.

All these developments must be mindful that about half of the world’s population remains to this day “unconnected.” This digital divide disenfranchises large sectors of our population because of their geography, economic status, age and gender, and the S20 advocates relentless commitment to developing technologies and promoting policies that narrow the digital divide. 

In conclusion, in order to navigate the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge governments and policy makers to base their policies and regulations on scientific evidence.

Now is the time to utilize the power of scientific knowledge to work together and ensure continuous collaborative research, and knowledge sharing.

And now is the time to increase investments in goal-oriented research and development specifically in AI research, smart cities infrastructure and blockchain. All of which must be aimed to accelerate digital sobriety and to build inclusive and resilient digital economies.

Thank you”