Technology governance

Examining shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the use of information technology and the internet worldwide.

As the internet became a unified medium for all types of information, technology governance issues began to encompass the work undertaken online by governments, the private sector and civil society, and the decision-making and practices that inform that work.

And while the technology governance debate is often framed around the trade-off between national security and personal privacy, a growing issue is the dominance of US technology firms in the marketplace, and the lack of regulation in place to govern their activities, with uncertain and conflicting rules in different jurisdictions.

The debate around the governance of technology rages over why expertise relating to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and drones, must not reside in only a small number of countries, or within narrow segments of the population. Governments worldwide must invest in developing and retaining home-grown talent and expertise in AI in order to remain independent of the dominant expertise currently concentrated in the US and China.

Clear codes of practice are necessary to ensure that the benefits of AI and associated technologies can be shared widely while risks are well managed, and that the capacities and limitations of artificially intelligent systems must not be the exclusive preserve of technical experts.