TechThe future under the microscope: first-ever meeting to discuss AI safety

The future under the microscope: first-ever meeting to discuss AI safety

Elon Musk
Elon Musk
Images source: © Getty Images | Bloomberg
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2:01 PM EDT, November 2, 2023

The first high-ranking meeting dedicated to discussing safety concerns regarding artificial intelligence (AI) began in the UK on Wednesday. Over two days, the participants will engage in conversations about the future of this innovative technology and aim to collectively understand the potential risks that may arise from its progression.

The historical meeting is held in Bletchley Park, a site significant to the history of technology since it served as the base for British electronic intelligence during World War II. Among the attendees of nearly a hundred are notable politicians, tech company heads, scientists, AI experts, and representatives of civil society.

The guest list includes British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese Deputy Minister of Technology Wu Zhaohui, Google DeepMind's Demis Hassabis, OpenAI's Sam Altman, Elon Musk - the owner of X platform, and eminent scholars considered pioneers of AI like Stuart Russell and Geoffrey Hinton.

Prior to the summit's inception, British Minister for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan, released a statement reinforcing the significance of AI to society and the global economy. "AI is already an extraordinary force for good in our society, with limitless opportunity to grow the global economy, deliver better public services and tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. But the risks posed by frontier AI are serious and substantive and it is critical that we work together, both across sectors and countries to recognise these risks," said Donelan.

Donelan further emphasized that the summit is a platform to convene experts across various fields to comprehend and counteract potential threats associated with AI's evolution. "This summit provides an opportunity for us to ensure we have the right people with the right expertise gathered around the table to discuss how we can mitigate these risks moving forward. Only then will we be able to truly reap the benefits of this transformative technology in a responsible manner," she stressed.

One of the primary objectives of this summit is to spark a global dialogue on the future regulations of artificial intelligence. The ultimate outcome could lead to the establishment of a global advisory council on AI regulation, functioning on principles akin to those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Presently, no global regulations focus on AI safety. However, certain governments, such as the European Union, have embarked on formulating their own rules for AI usage within their territory.

Several topics of potential threats associated with the future development of AI technology will be discussed during the summit. Topics like the possible exploitation of AI systems by hackers or terrorists to construct biological weapons, as well as the potential risk of artificial intelligence achieving self-awareness that could endanger humanity, will be part of these discussions.

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