Eden Grace Ninalga Sicat

Title: Roles of Cities in AI Strategies: Insights from Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York, and London

Supervisor: Colin Van Noordt

Opponent: Luiza Schuh de Azambuja

Defense: 6 June 2023


Abstract: Governments have a critical role in AI governance. There is a rising demand for governments to play a prominent role in order to maximize AI's economic potential at the same time minimize its undesirable societal effects. Although national governments direct the country's AI development and overall governance, local governments often promote uptake and impact when implementing AI initiatives and policies on the ground. With that, it is essential to understand their roles and responsibilities, which are crucial to ensure effective AI Strategy implementation. Hence, this research examines how local governments perceive their roles in implementing AI strategies. Using a sequential transformative mixed-method research design that combines qualitative latent content analysis and quantitative frequency count, this research aims to identify the roles of governments in AI governance. The researcher explored the Four Roles of Government Framework for this study and found that local governments emphasize their roles as regulators, enablers, leaders, and users in their local AI strategies. The cities of Amsterdam and New York positioned themselves as Leader-Enabler, while Barcelona positioned itself as Regulator, and London positioned itself as Enabler-Leader, each with specific goals and objectives. The study offers insights for other local governments to identify their roles and focus areas on AI governance. Local governments are urged to review their AI priorities, examine their roles and focus areas, and ensure that AI deployment benefits society and does not leave anyone behind.


Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, AI Strategy, Local Government, Cities, Roles, Technology Governance, Innovation Policy