HANOI - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministers of science, technology, and innovation have underlined the need for concerted action and collaboration to harness the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to a joint statement.

According to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the statement was issued after the 20th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation held in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province on 7th June.

The meeting recognised AI's significant transformative potential as a key driver of technological advancement and innovation and ascertained the need for concerted action and collaboration to harness AI's benefits while proactively addressing its multifaceted social, economic, and ethical implications.

AI is projected to significantly impact the ASEAN economy, potentially resulting in a 10 to 18% GDP uplift, valued at approximately US$1 trillion by 2030.

On this occasion, a working group under the ASEAN Digital Senior Officials' Meeting on AI governance was established. The group aims to address pertinent issues concerning AI governance, including the governance of generative AI, and foster the safe, responsible, and ethical use of AI.

The meeting encouraged collaborative efforts towards establishing regional AI infrastructure initiatives and platforms to facilitate knowledge exchange, data sharing, technology transfer and collaboration among researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

According to the statement, ASEAN ministers also emphasised the critical need for robust data governance frameworks and mechanisms to safeguard data privacy, security, and integrity, while fostering data sharing, interoperability, and innovation in AI applications.

Esraa Esmail