International Governance of Civilian AI: A Jurisdictional Certification Approach

Report by Robert F. Trager, Ben Harack, Anka Reuel, Allison Carnegie, Lennart Heim, Lewis Ho, Sarah Kreps, Ranjit Lall, Owen Larter, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Simon Staffell, José Jaime Villalobos
Published on 29 August 2023


This report describes trade-offs in the design of international governance arrangements for civilian artificial intelligence (AI) and presents one approach in detail. This approach represents the extension of a standards, licensing, and liability regime to the global level. We propose that states establish an International AI Organization (IAIO) to certify state jurisdictions (not firms or AI projects) for compliance with international oversight standards. States can give force to these international standards by adopting regulations prohibiting the import of goods whose supply chains embody AI from non-IAIO-certified jurisdictions. This borrows attributes from models of existing international organizations, such as the International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). States can also adopt multilateral controls on the export of AI product inputs, such as specialized hardware, to non-certified jurisdictions. Indeed, both the import and export standards could be required for certification. As international actors reach consensus on risks of and minimum standards for advanced AI, a jurisdictional certification regime could mitigate a broad range of potential harms, including threats to public safety.

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