World leaders have agreed on the importance of mitigating risks posed by rapid advancements in the emerging technology of artificial intelligence, at a U.K.-hosted safety conference.
The inaugural AI Safety Summit, hosted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Bletchley Park, England, started Wednesday, with senior officials from 28 nations, including the United States and China, agreeing to work toward a “shared agreement and responsibility” about AI risks. Plans are in place for further meetings later this year in South Korea and France.
Leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, discussed each of their individual testing models to ensure the safe growth of AI.
Thursday’s session included focused conversations among what the U.K. called a small group of countries “with shared values.” The leaders in the group came from the EU, the U.N., Italy, Germany, France and Australia.
Some leaders, including Sunak, said immediate sweeping regulation is not the way forward, reflecting the view of some AI companies that fear excessive regulation could thwart the technology before it can reach its full potential.
At at a press conference on Thursday, Sunak announced another landmark agreement by countries pledging to “work together on testing the safety of new AI models before they are released.”
The countries involved in the talks included the U.S., EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Canada and Australia. China did not participate in the second day of talks.
The summit will conclude with a conversation between Sunak and billionaire Elon Musk. Musk on Wednesday told fellow attendees that legislation on AI could pose risks, and that the best steps forward would be for governments to work to understand AI fully to harness the technology for its positive uses, including uncovering problems that can be brought to the attention of lawmakers.
Some information in this report was taken from The Associated Press and Reuters.