In a groundbreaking move, the G7 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, are set to unveil a landmark set of rules governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in relation to privacy concerns and security risks. The rules, consisting of an 11-point code of conduct, have been in development since May as part of the “Hiroshima AI process” and aim to ensure the safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment of AI worldwide.
The primary objective of the code is to promote the responsible development and deployment of AI systems, including advanced foundation models and generative AI. It seeks to strike a balance between reaping the benefits of AI and addressing potential risks and challenges.
Specifically, the code aims to encourage companies to take measures to mitigate risks when rolling out new AI systems and to address any misuse once these systems are in the market. Additionally, it calls on firms to provide public reports detailing their AI products’ capabilities and invest in security controls.
The code of conduct aligns with an executive order issued by US President Biden, underscoring the global importance of addressing AI-related challenges. While specific details of the code are yet to be disclosed, it is anticipated that it will align closely with the principles outlined in President Biden’s order.
Balancing risks and benefits
The code encompasses a wide range of objectives aimed at both mitigating potential harm and maximizing the advantages of AI technology. These objectives include:
Engineering Biological Materials: Encouraging the responsible use of AI in engineering biological materials.
Detecting AI-Generated Content: Developing methods to detect AI-generated content, particularly deepfakes.
Preventing Discrimination: Implementing tools to prevent AI from exacerbating discrimination and bias in various applications.
AI in Criminal Justice: Establishing best practices for the use of AI in the criminal justice system to ensure fairness and accuracy.
AI Talent Surge: Fostering a government-wide surge in AI talent to support AI safety and development.
The UK AI safety summit 2023
Meanwhile, in the UK, the AI Safety Summit 2023 is scheduled to take place at Bletchley Park, a site renowned for its role in cracking the Enigma codes during World War II. This summit brings together governments, AI companies, civil society groups, and experts to deliberate on the risks associated with AI and how they can be effectively mitigated.
The summit’s key goals include establishing a shared understanding of the risks posed by advanced AI, fostering international collaboration on AI safety, determining organizational measures to enhance AI safety, and identifying areas for potential research collaboration.
However, the AI Safety Summit 2023 has faced criticism from various quarters. An open letter addressed to Prime Minister Sunak, signed by trade unions, rights campaigners, and other organizations, raises concerns about the summit’s exclusivity.
Critics argue that the event overly focuses on speculative discussions about the distant “existential risks” of advanced AI, which are primarily developed by corporations involved in shaping AI regulations. They contend that the real harms of AI, such as algorithm-driven job loss and unfair profiling, are felt by millions in the present.
The criticism highlights a crucial ethical concern regarding self-regulation in the AI industry. As AI firms actively participate in shaping the rules governing their technology, the potential for conflicts of interest arises, making it challenging to distinguish between corporate self-interest and the broader societal good.
The effectiveness of voluntary rules and the definition of misuse remain ambiguous aspects of AI regulation. What one party may consider misuse, another might perceive as a business opportunity. For instance, the profiting from personal data, a cornerstone of social media and search, can be seen as misuse by some.
Serious commitment to addressing AI challenges
Despite these complexities, the flurry of activities, summits, and discussions at the governmental level worldwide demonstrates a heightened awareness and commitment to addressing the implications of AI. The field of AI is being taken more seriously than ever before, with a recognition of the need to establish a balance between innovation and responsibility.