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UK Hosts World’s Maiden Summit On Artificial Intelligence Safety

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Leaders in politics and technology gathered in the UK on Wednesday for the world’s first significant conference on artificial intelligence (AI) safety, with the aim of discussing potential solutions to this technology that is transforming society.

The two-day meeting, which focuses on mounting concerns about the ramifications of so-called frontier AI, was expected to be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, EU leader Ursula von der Leyen, US Vice President Kamala Harris, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The most recent models’ release has given us a peek of AI’s potential, but it has also raised questions about job losses, cyberattacks, and how much control humans actually have over these systems.

In a speech last week, Sunak—whose government organised the meeting—stated that his “ultimate goal” was “to work towards a more international approach to safety where we collaborate with partners to ensure AI systems are safe before they are released.”

He went on to compare the strategy used to address climate change to “the first ever international statement about the nature of these risks,” saying that “we will push hard to agree.” But due to what is said to be a lack of excitement, London reportedly had to pull back its goals surrounding concepts like creating a new regulatory body.

Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, was the only other head of state from the G7 to attend the meeting.

Even while AI has a lot of promise, especially for the medical field, its development is thought to be mostly uncontrolled.

Sunak emphasised in his speech the necessity for nations to have “a shared understanding of the risks that we face”. However, “fair” tech advocate and lawyer Cori Crider cautioned that the summit might turn into “a bit of a talking shop.” She said at a press conference in San Francisco, “If Rishi Sunak were serious about safety, he needed to roll deep and bring all of the UK majors and regulators in tow and he hasn’t.”

“Where is the labour regulator looking at whether jobs are being made unsafe or redundant? Where’s the data protection regulator?” she asked.

Bemoaning the lack of involvement of civil society organisations, more than 100 signatories to an open letter issued on Monday warned that “the communities and workers most affected by AI have been marginalised by the summit.”

After coming under fire for focusing solely on the concerns associated with AI, the UK promised on Wednesday to donate £38 million ($46 million) to support AI initiatives worldwide, beginning in Africa.

The G7 countries decided on a non-binding “code of conduct” for businesses creating the most cutting-edge AI systems on Monday, in advance of the conference.

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