Countries agree to safe and responsible development of AI

Leading AI nations have reached a world-first agreement about the opportunities and risks of AI

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the AI Safety Summit.

Countries from across the globe have come to a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks posed by frontier AI at the world’s first AI Safety Summit hosted by the UK.

Leaders and AI experts came together for two days at the AI safety Summit at Bletchley Park, where they signed the landmark Bletchley Declaration.

The declaration acknowledges both the challenges and opportunities posed by frontier AI, and the need for governments to work together to meet the most significant difficulties. 

The summit saw 28 countries, including the United States and China, agree to collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort.

In the AI Regulation White Paper, the government committed to taking an evidence-based approach, and has not ruled out legislative action in the future if there is evidence of substantial risks where non-statutory measures would be ineffective. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at the summit: “I believe that the last two days at the world’s first AI summit have shown that AI can truly work for good. 

For the first time ever we brought together CEOs of world-leading AI companies with countries most advanced in using the technology with representatives from across academia and civil society.  

Through the Bletchley Declaration we have shown the political will and capability to control this technology, agreeing on the nature of the risks that we – the world – face.”

What’s in the agreement?

Countries agreed that substantial risks may arise from frontier AI, with particular concern caused by cybersecurity, biotechnology and disinformation risks.

They agreed that there is “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.”

Attendees recognised that the risks and capabilities of frontier AI are not fully understood, and agreed to work together to support a network of scientific research on Frontier AI safety. 

The Declaration states that the risks are “best addressed through international cooperation.”

How is the government tackling AI risk?

As well as working together to support a network of scientific research, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last week that the UK will establish the world’s first AI Safety Institute.

The new global hub has been backed by leading AI companies and nations and will test the safety of emerging types of AI.

The institute will be launched in addition to existing international efforts including at the G7, OECD, Council of Europe, United Nations and the Global Partnership on AI.