Governments and tech firms promise to work together to address AI risks at summit

During the conclusion of a global summit in Seoul, more than a dozen countries and some of the world’s largest tech firms pledged to collaborate against the potential risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI), particularly its capacity to evade human control.

AI safety took center stage during the two-day gathering, with a focus on addressing threats from advanced AI technologies. In a joint declaration, over two dozen countries, including the United States and France, agreed to cooperate against severe risks associated with cutting-edge AI.

These risks encompass scenarios where AI systems could aid non-state actors in the development or use of chemical or biological weapons, as well as instances where AI models might circumvent human oversight through manipulation, deception, or autonomous adaptation.

The ministers’ statement followed a commitment made on Tuesday by leading AI companies, such as OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and Google DeepMind, to openly share their risk assessments, including defining what constitutes unacceptable risks.

Moreover, these tech firms pledged not to deploy AI systems that exceed predefined risk thresholds. The Seoul summit, jointly hosted by South Korea and Britain, aimed to build upon the consensus established at the inaugural AI safety summit held the previous year.

Michelle Donelan, UK technology secretary, emphasized the need to match the accelerating pace of AI development with efforts to mitigate associated risks, while also enhancing societal resilience.

Additionally, a separate commitment known as the Seoul AI Business Pledge was made by a consortium of tech companies, including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and US giant IBM, to promote responsible AI development.

Christina Montgomery, IBM’s Chief Privacy and Trust Officer, highlighted the importance of responsible AI usage, emphasizing the need for safeguards and protections to prevent misuse. She stressed the critical role of society, companies, and governments in determining the ethical and responsible deployment of AI technology.

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