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Meloni calls for global AI governance ahead of Rome-led G-7

While in Washington, the Italian PM delved into artificial intelligence with Henry Kissinger and vowed to make it a priority in next year’s G-7 agenda. Her goal is to foster the construction of a multilateral framework to control AI development and ensure it caters to humans

Giorgia Meloni is concerned about artificial intelligence, a subject she has been focussing on as the industry produced the results of its incredible advances over the past year. The Italian Prime Minister shared her thoughts on the matter with SkyTG24 in an interview aired over the weekend, which she recorded in Washington shortly after her meeting with President Joe Biden – and talks with legendary former State Secretary Henry Kissinger.

  • As she remarked, she had sought to table the issue of AI in several multilateral summits, including at the Council of Europe Summit and the Hiroshima G-7 Summit.
  • She also intends to keep AI high up in the agenda of next year’s G-7, which Italy will lead, “because we probably don’t realise the risks we are running.”

Thorny problems, multilateral solutions. The core issue PM Meloni sees in AI is whether its development ultimately aligns with human-centric objectives. She ranks this concern above the opportunities unlocked by this technology because of the possible impact “thinking machines” might have on the labour market, for instance.

  • “You cannot avoid governing such a process,” she added, noting it “runs much faster than the timeframes that political choices have, especially at the multilateral level” – which is where the governing effort should happen, she added, as the effectiveness of national-level initiatives would be severely limited.

Study, discuss… Time is of the essence, continued the Italian leader. Firstly, “if we were to make the same mistake we made with globalisation – that is, to let things go and then find ourselves running after them – then the impact could be irrecoverable.” Secondly, the matter’s complexity requires a higher degree of understanding and time-consuming research.

  • “I believe that even those who were the pioneers in this matter have begun to realise this at some point. Elon Musk is an example of this: I have spoken to him about it at length, and he has not helped to reassure me.”

… and act. Praising Mr Kissinger’s discussions with experts to understand the matter, she said such efforts are necessary to understand the frontiers “towards which this world is leading us” and “act accordingly” – including, “where necessary,” by “governing the system” and “putting limitations.”

  • “I see an intervention by States and international organisations, and I hope we agree that, let’s say, the human being should remain at the centre of our world.”

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