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A More Divided Digital World: Different Institutional Choices of Governance on AI in the Case of the US, EU and China

April 22, 2024

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

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Harvard Kennedy School of Government

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA

April 22, 2024 ◦ 1:30 pm – 2:45pm
Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Building, B-400 (Land Lecture Hall)

As the digital world is upgrading itself into the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how to govern new AI-driven technologies has been a red-hot policy issue for the governments around the world to consider. Just last month (March 2024), the European Union’s parliament approved the world’s first major set of regulations for new AI technologies. In the United States where a bunch of technology companies including Microsoft-backed OpenAI, Google, and Meta, are emerging as the world’s leaders in AI developments and therefore they already enjoy competitive advantages against their smaller peers in the EU and the rest of the world, the Biden administration is apparently more willing to regulate AI through Executive Order and a more self-regulatory framework. In China, AI de facto means politics and the Communist regime is keen to keep its ruling and social order unchanged despite new technologies like AI that are supposed to open and decentralize the society.

The speaker, with his first-hand experience in handling regulatory challenges in the Asia Pacific region and managing increasing US-China tensions for Meta for more than seven years (2016-2023), wants to explore whether EU’s “hardline” approach to AI governance is the right choice for the adoption of new technology and innovation, and how AI governance in China will eventually result in a war on ideology. The speaker also wants to argue how the two superpowers, the US and China should cooperate on AI, at least in certain aspects, to keep the world a safer and more secure place tomorrow.

Speaker Biography:
George Chen
Managing Director and Co-Chair of Digital Practice, The Asia Group
Senior Fellow, Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong
(Former Public Policy Director, Meta)

George Chen is a practitioner/scholar with over two decades of expertise across media, technology, and public policy. A Senior Fellow of Centre for Civil Society and Governance at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), George has been on the HKU faculty since March 2023. At the HKU, George co-leads the “Tech for Good” initiative and teaches “Digital Governance and Society” (POLI8034 / SLGP7018, six credits) for Master students.

Concurrently, George is also Managing Director and Co-Chair of Digital Practice for The Asia Group, advising many Fortune 500 clients on geopolitics, national security, and tech/policy related issues. Previously, George was Meta/Facebook’s first and most senior policy leader for the Greater China, Mongolia and Central Asia regions. Earlier in his career, George was in various editorial and management positions for media organizations including the South China Morning Post and Reuters.

George received his Master’s degree of international and public affairs (with distinction) in 2012 from the HKU where he remains a doctoral candidate for his research on misinformation. George has been named a Salzburg Global Fellow (2024), Visiting Scholar at National Chengchi University in Taipei (2023), and Yale World Fellow at Yale University (2014). He’s also an awardee of Mongolian President’s “Medal of Friendship” (2022), one of the country’s highest honors given to foreigners. George has been also on the Board of American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong since 2019. A native of Shanghai and an author of three books, George speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.

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April 22, 2024, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

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