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U.K.’s First AI Safety Summit: What is it About?

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Emma Sulaiman, Staff Writer

Photo//SomYuZu, Shutterstock

As technology is developing, its dangers are increasing too.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants Britain to be a global leader when it comes to AI safety behind the U.S. and China, which is why the United Kingdom is hosting the very first artificial intelligence (AI) safety summit on Nov. 1 and 2 at Bletchley Park, which also operated as a codebreaking facility in World War II. The summit plans to examine the dangers of AI and set global regulations for its usage to prevent any catastrophes that could stem from these technological advancements.

While the full guest list has not been made public, we can expect some political world leaders, such as the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, along with major tech company leaders, including CEO Demis Hassabis and Sam Altman, who founded ChatGPT, representatives from Microsoft, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Officials at AI Summit in Bletchley Park, 2023//UK Government, Flickr

While artificial intelligence is not a brand new form of technology, the rise in popularity of the AI-powered bot ChatGPT has caused a rise in panic.

Demis Hassabis, chief executive of Google’s AI division, stated: “You don’t want to wait till the eve of AGI [artificial general intelligence] when you discuss AGI risk,” in reference to AI intelligence that meets or surpasses that of humans.

Interactive AI bot from the international exhibition of robotics and advanced technology in Moscow, Russia, in November 2017. Photo//Shutterstock, ElevenStudio

Scientists and tech professionals have described AI to be a “risk of extinction,” ensuing statements that AI could replace human intelligence. There has been thoughts that AI could be used by cybercriminals to build chemical bioweapons and spread child sexual abuse. If the world loses control of such powerful technology, it could possibly surpass human intelligence and cause unforeseen consequences.

AI has caused a form of mistrust between the government and society after being used to create fake videos and spread misleading information, diminishing social trust. This could cause unethical and harmful biases between people, meaning that AI has the power to come between and control humanity.

By using AI, people can create fake videos and pictures of anything. Pedophiles are generating disturbing pictures of children and placing them on the dark web. Some generated pictures involve real people, which could be life damaging. At the AI summit, officials stated that this is why there should be laws tied to AI creation in order to avoid harming the community and to establish a precedent for prosecution for whoever takes part in this. Technology companies such as Snapchat and TikTok, who use AI to generate filters, have formed an agreement with several country governments to combat this inappropriate imagery.

Countries are each moving at their own pace in terms of regulating their AI usage.

President Biden released a statement announcing an executive order that all AI developed by companies needs to be assessed and approved by the government before being released to the public. Some UK officials have stated that they do not think that AI regulation is necessary at this stage, nor can it be achieved, but the European nations are moving closer toward passing the AI act.

If all goes according to plan, the U.K. AI Safety Summit will help to ensure our future safety and prevent any potential AI damages to society.

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