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UK’s Sunak to discuss AI risks with Kamala Harris at summit before chatting with Elon Musk


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that the results of the first international AI security summit would “tip the scales in favor of humanity” in the race to contain risks from rapid advances in AI. cutting-edge artificial intelligence.

Speaking after two days of talks at Bletchley Park, a former code-breaking spy base near London, Sunak said the deals reached at the meeting of politicians, researchers and business leaders “show that we We have both the political will and the capacity to control this technology, and guarantee its long-term benefits.”

Sunak organized the summit as a forum for officials, experts and the tech industry to better understand cutting-edge, “frontier” AI that some scientists say could pose a risk to the very existence of humanity.

He praised the meeting’s achievements, including a “Bletchley Declaration” committing nations to tackle the biggest threats posed by artificial intelligence, an agreement to review tech companies’ AI models before their release , and an agreement to convene a global expert group on AI, inspired by the United Nations panel on climate change.

Some argue that governments need to go further and faster on surveillance. Britain is not considering specific legislation to regulate AI, unlike the United States and the European Union.

Vice President Kamala Harris attended the summit, highlighting steps the Biden administration has taken to hold tech companies accountable. She said Thursday that the United States’ “bold action” should be “inspiring and instructive to other nations.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a coordinated global effort, comparing AI risks to the Nazi threat that Britain’s wartime codebreakers were working to combat.

“Bletchley Park played a vital role in the computing advances that helped defeat Nazism,” he said. “The threat posed by AI is more insidious, but could be just as dangerous.”

The UN chief, like many others, warned of the need to act quickly to keep pace with the breathtaking advances in AI. General-purpose AI chatbots like ChatGPT launched last year have sparked both amazement and fear with their ability to generate text, audio and images that closely resemble human work.

“The speed and scope of today’s AI technology is unprecedented,” Guterres said. “The paradox is that in the future, things will never move as slowly as they do today. The gap between AI and its governance is wide and growing.”

Sunak hailed the summit as a success, despite its arguably modest achievements. He managed to convince 28 countries – including the United States and China – to commit to working towards “agreement and shared responsibility” on the risks of AI, and to hold further meetings in South Korea and France over the next year.

China did not participate in the second day, which focused on meetings between what the UK called a small group of countries “with shared values”. Sunak hosted a roundtable discussion with politicians from the EU, UN, Italy, Germany, France and Australia.

Announcing the creation of an expert panel on Thursday, Sunak said pioneering computer scientist Yoshua Bengio, dubbed one of the “godfathers” of AI, had agreed to chair the production of its first report on the state of AI science.

Sunak said like-minded governments and AI companies had also reached a “landmark agreement” to work together to test the safety of AI models before they were made public. Leading AI companies at the meeting, including OpenAI, Google’s DeepMind, Anthropic and Inflection AI, agreed to “deepen access” to their cutting-edge AI models, he said. declared.

Binding regulations for AI were not among the summit’s objectives. Sunak said the UK’s approach should not be to rush into regulation, but to fully understand AI first.

Harris underscored the U.S. administration’s more concrete approach in a speech at the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday, saying the world must act immediately to address the “full spectrum” of AI risks. and not just to existential threats such as massive cyberattacks or AI. formulated biological weapons.

She announced the creation of a new US AI Safety Institute to develop standards for testing AI models for public use. She said she would collaborate with a similar British institute announced by Sunak a few days earlier.

A key concern of the Biden administration is that advances in AI are widening inequalities within societies and between countries. To try to solve this problem, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a $100 million fund, backed by the United Kingdom, the United States and others, to help ensure that countries Africans benefit from a share of the benefits of AI – and that 46 African languages ​​are integrated into its content. models.

Cleverly told reporters that it is crucial that there be a “diversity of voices” informing AI.

“If it was just the Euro-Atlantic area and China, we would be short of things, potentially huge amounts of things,” he said.

Sunak is expected to discuss AI with Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday evening, in a conversation to be broadcast on social network X, which Musk owns.

Musk, who attended the summit, is among tech executives who have warned that AI could pose a risk to the future of humanity.

“Here we are for the first time, really in human history, with something that’s going to be much smarter than us,” Musk said at the summit. “I don’t know if we can control such a thing.”

Sunak said it was important not to be “alarmist” about the technology, which could bring huge benefits.

“But there is reason to believe that this can pose a risk of such magnitude as pandemics and nuclear war, and that is why, as leaders, we have a responsibility to act to take steps necessary to protect people, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.” what I do,” he said.

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