Oxford Congress Conclusion Document: ‘AI, Big Data and the Digital Economy: Challenges and Opportunities’

"This document collects different contributions before, during and after the Congress, as containing the views and thoughts of authors of the texts, working groups and attendants of such event. "

We are eager to present the conclusion document of the Congress ‘AI, Big Data and the Digital Economy: Challenges and Opportunities’ which took place at Oxford College last September of 2019. The congress gathered a multitude of industry leading professionals to discuss a series of topics around the digital economy and new technologies. Their conclusions may be found here.

Last September we had the opportunity to host a three-day colloquium with experts from different countries at Jesus College Oxford. The Congress centred on the growth of the digital sector, its challenges and its future regulation in a cross-border context. 

Neither in its preparatory phase nor at the time of the Congress itself could anyone have foreseen the Covid19 catastrophe. In particular, no one could have anticipated the consequences that it would bring for all citizens, all countries and in several different areas, health, economic and social.  

Even so, it is remarkable to note how the digital sector has been used as a mechanism to support a world in which a pandemic has killed so many people and in which social distancing has become the norm, with its adverse consequences for businesses and citizens alike. Whether in analysing complex data sets or in facilitating meetings or in supporting family life or as an aid to teaching children, the digital sector has been invaluable. Yet the need for its regulation was well illustrated by the serious incidents which caused the Singapore Government to ban its teachers from using Zoom technology. Therefore, the balance that has to be struck between competing interests, as discussed at the FIDE Congress, remains as urgent now as it was last September. 

Among many important questions discussed at the Congress, there were several topics of special significance which included: what were the opportunities and challenges that we as professionals would have to face in an interconnected and global world? What reflections could we each contribute from our respective points of view and how could our individual views be enriched in a pluralistic conversation? How could we learn more about the different perspectives brought to bear on each of the issues and, by pooling our knowledge and experience, offer regulators, institutions, and society in general a rigorous analysis of the opportunities and risks? What, as apt, were the specific proposals for consideration so that, weighing the countervailing public interests, the tremendous changes we are experiencing might become opportunities for growth and better use of resources. Could these proposals be a starting point for further consideration of a new future? 

And so, in September 2019, we held a fruitful congress in a stimulating environment, steeped in knowledge and culture, ancient and modern. We drew on the expertise of a number of qualified assistants, who themselves had an opportunity to share experiences, knowledge and differing points of view. Above all, our FIDE colleagues rose to the challenge and, with them, we were able to tackle some very difficult issues. 

Here are the reflections developed at the Congress. Here are some of the papers that were presented at that time and that the speakers have updated. They are reflections that, despite the changes of rhythm, burdens and priorities that Covid19 has imposed all over the world, are still valid and more important than ever. Reflection becomes ever more necessary in turbulent times. Reading and listening to the views of experts are always enriching. In a spirit of humility and in our quest for solutions to intractable problems, we invite you to share the reflections of the Congress that are now collected in this volume.

Conclusion Document

This document collects different contributions before, during and after the Congress, as containing the views and thoughts of authors of the texts, working groups and attendants of such event. 

Accordingly, the intention of this document is to raise awareness of the extraordinary relevance of Artificial Intelligence at this particular time, providing insight of the matter at stake from a holistic perspective, gathering views, experiences and knowledge from experts with different background and fields of expertise. 

As a phenomenon affecting society as a whole, participating in the process of creation of an adequate framework regulating the conception, impact and development of Artificial Intelligence shall be an absolute priority, which is, as such, the main purpose of this document. 

Christopher Muttukumaru, CB DL, 
International Committee of Fide Foundation 

Cristina Jiménez Savurido,
Fide Foundation 

Carmen Hermida Díaz,
Managing Director 

Victoria Dal Lago Demmi,
Academic Coordinator, Fide Foundation

Main Contributors

  • María Álvarez Caro, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager, Google Spain & Portugal
  • Senén Barro Ameneiro, Scientific Director of the CiTIUS-Research Center in Intelligent Technologies, the University of Santiago de Compostela
  • Ben Constable-Maxwell, Head of Sustainable & Impact investing, M&G Investments
  • Gareth Davies, Head of Responsible Investment Solutions, Columbia Threadneedle Investments
  • Miguel de la Mano, Executive Vice President, Compass Lexecon’s Brussels Office
  • Manuel Desantes, Professor of Private International Law, University of Alicante. Of Counsel, Elzaburu
  • Juan Espinosa García, General Director of the Directorate General for Gambling Regulation, Ministry of Finance, Spain
  • CanI Fernández Vicién, Director of the Community Law and Competition Group, Cuatrecasas
  • Javier Fernández-Lasquetty Quintana, Partner, Elzaburu SLP
  • Gonzalo Gállego Higueras, Partner in the Intellectual Property, Media and Technology Practice, Hogan Lovells
  • Víctor García Pastor, Cyber-security expert
  • Paula Garralón, Privacy &Data Protection, Bird&Bird
  • Natalia González Privacy &Data Protection, Bird&Bird
  • Gloria Hernández Aler, Partner, Finreg360
  • Pedro Jácome, Director, GAM Investments
  • Patricia Lampreave, State Aid and UE Tax Expert. Accredited Tax Professor
  • Graciela Martín, Intellectual Property, Media and Technology Practice, Hogan Lovells
  • Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, Senior Economist, the Bank of Spain
  • Christopher Muttukumaru, CB DL, Barrister. Formerly General Counsel, UK Department of Transport. Consultant, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • Ulla Neergaard, Professor of EU Law, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen
  • Alejandro Neut, Lead Economist, BBVA
  • Jorge Padilla Blanco, Senior Managing Director and Head, Compass Lexecon Europe
  • María Dolores Ramos Martínez, Business and Digital Regulation Director, Banco Santander
  • Lasse Rouhiainen, International Expert on Artificial Intelligence, Disruptive Technologies and Digital Marketing
  • Laura Sacristán Martín, Chief Commercial Officer, BME Goup
  • Lupe Sampedro Burgos, Partner, Privacy & Data Protection, Bird&Bird
  • Daniel Sarmiento Ramírez-Escudero, Professor of Law administrative and Union European, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Francisco Uría Fernández, Head Partner of Financial Services, KPMG
  • Ester Vidal, Privacy &Data Protection, Bird&Bird
  • Professor Derrick Wyatt, QC, Formerly Professor of Eu Law, Oxford University

All job titles correspond to the time the Congress took place, September 2019. Some of the professionals mentioned above might occupy different positions now.

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