Lessons from the NPT Regime for India for Setting Up a Multilateral AI Governance Framework | Mahima Sikand

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

William J. Perry Conference Room

About the Event: This research proposal aims to apply lessons learned from the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime to the design and negotiation of a future global system for AI governance, with a particular focus on India's role and interests.

The emergence of the post 1945 global order was accelerated in part by the discovery and subsequent weaponization of nuclear energy, a disruptive technology at the time. There are  visible parallels with the development of Artificial Intelligence in the backdrop of the present geopolitical flux and redistribution of global power. The nuclear non-proliferation regime, established to govern the development, distribution and deployment of this technology, has been critiqued on account of structural and systemic inequities and its limited success in meeting its objectives. India’s unique position during the NPT negotiations is widely recognized as having paid dividends. 

The proposed research will use a combination of tools, including literature review, case studies and interviews with primary sources to examine the dynamics of international cooperation, compliance and deterrence that have shaped nuclear governance. By juxtaposing these with specific aspects of AI meriting global governance such as technology diffusion, ethical concerns, data security, data monetization etc, the research aims to identify transferable strategies, mechanisms, and norms that can inform the development of AI governance frameworks and evaluate the state of emerging structures and organizations in place to do so. Finally, it will attempt to identify a set of values and approaches India could prioritize in designing new or revamping existing structures for global governance of AI to secure both its own, as well as interests of the Global South.

 The research is timely and significant as it seeks to provide a nuanced understanding of how India could shape and influence international norms for responsible AI development and deployment, establish its leadership in the global AI landscape and ultimately contribute to its quest for technology sovereignty. 
About the Speaker: Mahima Sikand is currently a Visiting Scholar with the inaugural Critical and Emerging Technologies and the US-India Strategic Partnership Fellowship at the Center for Security and International Cooperation at Stanford University. At CISAC, Mahima is looking at the intersection of technology, national security and foreign policy as it relates to the evolution of Indian grand strategy, the India-US strategic partnership and shaping global governance frameworks for emerging technologies. Her research is focused on examining the the lessons India could draw from the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime to future negotiations on establishment of a global AI Governance regime.

Mahima is an Indian diplomat with eight years of experience, and has served in various capacities at the Indian Embassy in Moscow and the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. Mahima’s expertise lies in foreign policy, strategy formulation, diplomacy, multilateral negotiations, communications and community engagement.  She holds a Masters in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and a Bachelors in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

 All CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.