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World Leaders At UK’s AI Safety Summit Agree On Bletchley Declaration To Collectively Manage Risks



Representatives from 28 countries meeting for the first Global Summit on AI Safety, hosted by the U.K., agreed on Wednesday to collectively manage the risks posed by artificial intelligence.
The Bletchley Declaration on AI safety establishes that the risks of “serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models” are “best addressed through international cooperation.”
The agreement was reached at Bletchley Park, a former intelligence base near London where Allied codebreakers worked during World War II.
Summit participants include the U.S., China, Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, and others.
“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,” said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Sunak announced last week the establishment of the U.K.’s AI Safety Institute, which will “look at the range of risks posed by AI” while working with international partners to unlock the benefits of the technology.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in a speech at the U.S. embassy in London warned that the risks of AI go beyond “threats to humanity as a whole,” such as AI-enabled cyberattacks and AI-formulated bioweapons, to include existential threats to individuals.
“When a senior is kicked off his healthcare plan because of a faulty AI algorithm, is that not existential for him?” Harris asked. “When a young father is wrongfully imprisoned because of biased AI facial recognition, is that not existential for his family?”
Harris said leaders must “manage all these dangers to make sure AI is truly safe.” She pointed to several initiatives undertaken by the Biden administration to that end, including the development of an AI Bill of Rights and the establishment of the United States AI Safety Institute.
“Today, we are also taking steps to establish requirements that when the United States government uses AI, it advances the public interest. And we intend that these domestic AI policies will serve as a model for global policy, understanding that AI developed in one nation can impact the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world,” Harris said.
The two-day summit will continue Thursday, and will include a livestreamed discussion Thursday night between Sunak and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is attending as a representative of his AI startup, xAI.
Along with Musk, representatives from several of the world’s top AI firms were also in attendance, including Microsoft, Google Deepmind, Meta AI, OpenAI, and Anthropic.
After the summit, Korea has agreed to co-host a “mini virtual summit” in the next six months, while France will host the next in-person summit in a year.
“The dangers that AI poses is real, and so is the potential benefits to humanity so this level of international co-operation is both timely and welcome,” Peter Swain, an artificial intelligence advocate, said. “It’s on all of us to ensure that we take advantage of what’s on offer now whilst ensuring what it does in the future is in our best interest.”
TMX contributed to this article.