International Soft Law Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Advantages, Approaches, and Credibility

FU Shuju, XING Aifen


Given the transnational nature of data and algorithms associated with artificial intelligence, individual countries often face challenges in developing an effective governance system. Ensuring a healthy, stable, and sustainable AI ecosystem requires international communication, cooperation, and interaction. However, in the emerging and fast-changing interdisciplinary field of AI, internationally binding laws like treaties and agreements cannot be easily established overnight. Multilateral negotiations and local consultations are necessary, as each provision must be carefully considered and weighed, a process that is time-consuming and slow in yielding results. Therefore, it is clear that non-coercive soft law methods are necessary to achieve rapid international consensus and facilitate action. Soft law intervention provides practical space in the current landscape of Internet governance and is both necessary and feasible. At the very least, soft law can initiate the process of legalizing Internet governance. The application of soft law can encourage countries to reach some foundational and framework agreements, enabling practical and effective preparations for future, more comprehensive agreements that may be reached.

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