Regulating AI: Debating Approaches and Perspectives from Asia and Europe

Webinar series  Cooperation Project between the hbs and APRU


Artificial intelligence (AI) has reached a stage of maturity and extensive application across supply chains and manufacturing, in automation, public governance, media and entertainment. While industries and societies are quick in the uptake of AI to harness benefits and opportunities, many governments are catching up to develop responsible and appropriate regulatory frameworks, to prevent immense possible harm of mismanaged AI. 

During this active shaping process, the European Commission has unveiled its draft AI Act (AIA) in April 2021; ongoing discussion and a law-making process that seeks to establish key agenda and practices in the field of AI regulation continues in the EU Parliament in 2022. Simultaneously in the past 2-3 years, a number of Asian countries are actively rolling out policy papers, laws, and guidelines stages concerning AI regulation, embracing different emphases and approaches.

The Hong Kong office of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) are inviting to a series of three webinars that wants to bring together experts and interested audiences from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe to discuss current ideas and approaches around the regulation of AI.

  • What kind of regulatroy regime can put effective checks on misuse or socially dangerous developments without harming technological progress in the field?
  • How can accountability of AI-supported decision-making be secured if the details of the process cannot be fully and transparently explained? 
  • How is it possible, in an environment of large-scale data usage, to safeguard privacy and data protection?

The event seeks to share about best practices, developments, governance frameworks, in order to deepen insights how to address AI-related governance and policy challenges globally.

The Organisers

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), with experts from its member universities and external partners in the region, has been pursuing debates in the field of AI policies and ethics since 2016. Specifically, APRU in collaboration with UN ESCAP and Google set up the AI for Social Good network supporting governments and key stakeholders in developing insights how best to develop governance approaches that will address challenges associated with AI, while maximizing the technology’s potential in the Asia Pacific region. The latest activity is working with specific government agencies in South East to identify specific regulatory, governance or capability needs they may be facing and develop high-impact insights towards the development of suitable country specific governance frameworks and national capabilities. 

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs), from Germany with a global network of more than 30 offices, is involved in the discussion regulatory and governance issues of digitalization especially through its Brussels, Washington and Hong Kong offices and its head office in Berlin. hbs is networked to relevant actors especially in Europe, including civil society and members of parliament, policy-makers and other experts involved in the EU’s AI Law initiative.

Webinar 1: Risk-based Approach of AI Regulation

Date: 5 May 2022 (Thu)
Time: 0830-0930 CET GMT+2 / 1430-1530 Hong Kong GMT+8 / 1530-1630 Japan GMT+9 / 1630-1730 Sydney GMT+10

AI applications can be categorized by the levels of risk they may imply, with appropriate regulatory restrictions and exemptions specified in the regulatory framework. Which type of AI would constitute an “unacceptable risks” that may be strictly prohibited? How can these areas be defined clearly? What kind of applications should be exempted? The European Union’s proposed AI Act (Apr 2021) and ongoing discussion in 2022 has taken a significant step along this approach; initiatives in Asia-Pacific will also be discussed.


  • Prof Toby Walsh (Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of New South Wales, Australia)
  • Ms Alexandra Geese (Member of the European Parliament)
  • Prof Jiro Kokuryo (Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, Japan)


  • Ms Zora Siebert (Head of EU Democracy & Digital Policy Programme, Heinrich Böll Stiftung European Union) 




Webinar recording: Risk-based Approach of AI Regulation - Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Asia Global Dialogue

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Webinar 2: Explainable AI 

Date: 25 May 2022 (Wed) 
Time: 0930-1030 CEST GMT+2 / 1530-1630 Singapore, the Philippines & Hong Kong GMT+8 1730-1830 Sydney GMT+10


Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithmic designs may involve algorithms such as neural networks and machine learning mechanisms, which can enhance robust power and predictive accuracy of the applications. However, how AI systems arrive at their decisions may appear opaque and incomprehensible to general users, non-technical managers, or even technical personnel. Algorithmic design may involve assumptions, priorities and principles that have not been openly explained to users and operation managers. The proposals of “explainable AI” and “trustworthy AI” are initiatives to create AI applications that are transparent, interpretable, and explainable to users and operations managers. These initiatives seek to foster public trust, informed consent and fair use of AI applications. They also seek to move against algorithmic bias that may work against the interest of underprivileged social groups.


  • Prof Matthias C. Kettermann (Head of research programme, Hans-Bredow-Institute / HIIG, Germany)
  • Prof Liz Sonenberg (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Systems Innovation, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr Brian Y. Lim (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore)


  • Mr Kal Joffres, CEO and co-founder of Tandemic



Webinar recording: Explainable AI - Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Asia Global Dialogue

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Webinar 3: Protection of data rights for citizens and users of AI

Date: 15 Jun 2022 
Time: 0930-1030 CET GMT+2 / 1530-1630 Hong Kong GMT+8 1630-1730 South Korea GMT+9

With AI applications, enterprises and states are now able to collect, store, access, and analyse data that influence important aspects of life. The challenge of regulators is to strike a balance between data rights of citizens / users, and the rights for enterprises and states to make use of data in AI. The data rights for individuals, including personal data privacy, informed consent, opt-out rights, and fair use of personal data should be protected; abusive manipulation of consumer bahaviours, public opinions, or abusive surveillance should be limited. Conversely, regulators should also leave reasonable room for robust innovation and effective business strategies, and facilitate effective operation of government bureaus to deliver public services. 


  • Dr M Jae Moon (Director, Institute for Future Government, Yonsei University, South Korea)
  • Ms Sarah Chander (Senior Policy Advisor at European Digital Rights)
  • Mr Sankha Som (Chief Innocation Evangelist, Tata Consultancy Services)


  • Axel Harneit-Sievers (Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Hong Kong Office)



Webinar recording: Protection of data rights for citizens and users - Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Asia Global Dialogue

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Contact for enquiry:

Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Dr Lucia Siu
Programme Manager, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Hong Kong, Asia | Global Dialogue
Email: Lucia.Siu [at]

APRU: Ms Christina Schönleber
Senior Director, Policy and Research Programs, APRU
Email: policyprograms [at]

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