Introductory meeting of Slovenian GPAI experts

On Tuesday, 14 July 2020, Slovenian experts that are part of Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) met for the first time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the introductory meeting was to improve the information flow between experts and state officials, to introduce areas where Slovenia is already active, and to form an informal network that would lay foundations for state-experts cooperation within GPAI and other international initiatives.

The GPAI was founded upon the initiative of Canada and France, with Slovenia being one of its founding members.

Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič, who acts as a co-chair of the GPAI Data Governance Working Group, together with Jenni Tennison, Open Data Institute Vice President, took part in the introductory meeting as well. Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič explained at the meeting that there had already been several meetings with government representatives and the representatives of International Centre of Expertise in Montreal with the aim of commencing the working group’s activities. The first challenge of the working group’s co-chairs is to shape the working group mandate in a way so that data governance will be understood as data being collected, used, shared, archived and deleted in ways that are consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, shared democratic values, inclusion and fairness. Co-chairs were unanimous that the working group itself is in need of diversification and should include representatives of different groups from all over the world.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs specifically asked dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič about her views on governance of personal and non-personal data, to which co-chair replied that personal data protection should follow European values and European acquis, which bases legal grounds for personal data protection upon right to privacy, and added that any attempts to govern personal data with new proprietary rights are unacceptable. Additionally, she emphasised that in case of non-personal data, contents protected by copyright should be distinguished from others. She reminded that at the moment the implementation of the EU Directive 2019/790 on Copyright and Related Rights in Digital Single Market is underway, with the Directive finally introducing a Text and Data Mining (TDM) exception. She expressly pointed out that it is crucial, especially if Slovenia intends to be at the forefront of machine learning and AI, to listen to researchers and others included in AI creating processes, who insist that broad and clear exceptions are necessary for enabling data analytics in a safe and burden-free manner, as well as data storage, especially for content available on the open web.

In any case, inclusion of experts in the GPAI’s working groups presents an opportunity for the participating states to keep their legal frameworks aligned with the technological development caused by AI.