Leading nations involved in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) have convened for the first time in the UK as part of the first global summit on AI safety.
The summit resulted in a ‘world-first’ agreement at Bletchley Park, which is intended to establish a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks posed by frontier AI.
It is hoped this framework will enable international collaboration to support the mitigation of risks associated with rapidly developing AI.
Named the Bletchley Declaration on AI safety, the pact sees 28 countries from across the globe including Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the EU, agree ‘to the urgent need to understand and collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort to ensure AI is developed and deployed in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of the global community’, according to the UK government.
Countries endorsing the Declaration include Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
Michelle Donelan, technology secretary, said: “Today’s agreement signed by attendees from across the globe, offers an important first step as we begin 2 days of vitally important discussions here at Bletchley Park.
“We have always said that no single country can face down the challenges and risks posed by AI alone, and today’s landmark Declaration marks the start of a new global effort to build public trust by ensuring the technology’s safe development.”
The Declaration fulfils key summit objectives in establishing shared agreement and responsibility on the risks, opportunities and a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research, particularly through greater scientific collaboration.
Countries agreed substantial risks may arise from potential intentional misuse or unintended issues of control of frontier AI, with particular concern caused by cybersecurity, biotechnology and disinformation risks.
The declaration details that the risks are ‘best addressed through international cooperation’.
The Republic of Korea has likewise agreed to co-host a mini virtual summit on AI in the next 6 months, with France then hosting the next in-person summit in a year from now.
Rishi Sunak, prime minister, said: “This is a landmark achievement that sees the world’s greatest AI powers agree on the urgency behind understanding the risks of AI – helping ensure the long-term future of our children and grandchildren.
“Under the UK’s leadership, more than 25 countries at the AI Safety Summit have stated a shared responsibility to address AI risks and take forward vital international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research.
“The UK is once again leading the world at the forefront of this new technological frontier by kickstarting this conversation, which will see us work together to make AI safe and realise all its benefits for generations to come.”