More than 25 countries attending the UK’s AI Safety Summit, including the US and China, have committed to work together on the safe use of the technology.
The UK government announced the Bletchley Declaration on the first day of the summit.
It says all the governments attending the summit agree to understand and collectively manage the potential risks of emerging AI technologies and commit to a global effort to ensure AI is developed in a safe, responsible way.
Rashik Parmar, CEO of BCS, said: “The Bletchley Declaration takes a more positive view of the potential of AI to transform our lives than many thought, and that’s also important to build public trust.
“I’m also pleased to see a focus on AI issues that are a problem today - particularly disinformation, which could result in personalised fake news during the next election – we believe this is more pressing than speculation about existential risk. The emphasis on global co-operation is vital to minimise differences in how countries regulate AI.
“After the summit, we would like to see government and employers insisting that everyone working in a high-stakes AI role is a licensed professional and that they and their organisations are held to the highest ethical standards.
“It’s also important that CEOs who make decisions about how AI is used in their organisation, are held to account as much as the AI experts; that should mean they are more likely to heed the advice of technologists.
“We also need to see a greater emphasis on the role of AI in education because young people have the right to be taught about its capabilities, risks and potential to ensure they can thrive in life and work.”
Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and X, who is attending the summit, warned ahead of the meeting that AI could lead to humanity’s extinction.
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Speaking to reporters after opening the AI Safety Summit, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said the potential positive impacts were being overlooked. “When it comes to jobs actually, what AI has the potential to do, and what is already happening actually, is reduce some of the tedious administrative part of our jobs, which is particularly impactful for doctors, our police force, our teachers,” she said.
She said in many cases, AI could become a “co-pilot” to aid workers in their productivity, and added: “The fact that we have today published the Bletchley Declaration, signed by over 25 countries plus the EU is in itself significant because for the first time, we now have countries agreeing that we need to look, not just independently but collectively, at the risks around frontier AI.”