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This week, Seoul is hosting a pivotal summit focused on establishing new regulatory frameworks for artificial intelligence (AI). Co-hosted by South Korea and the United Kingdom, the event builds on discussions initiated at a similar conference held six months ago in the UK.

The November summit in the UK saw notable figures like Tesla’s Elon Musk and OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman engage with critics and collaborate with international counterparts. A significant outcome was the “Bletchley Declaration,” co-signed by China, the United States, and other nations, emphasizing collective management of AI risks.

This current summit, overseen by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, begins with a virtual meeting on Tuesday, followed by a ministerial session on Wednesday. Britain’s Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan highlighted that discussions will focus on strengthening commitments from AI companies and enhancing cooperation between AI safety institutes.

Evolving Discussions: Practical Applications Over Dystopian Fears

Since the last summit, the focus of AI regulation has shifted. According to Aidan Gomez, co-founder of AI firm Cohere, the conversation has moved from theoretical concerns to practical applications in sectors such as healthcare and finance. “We’re now addressing how AI can be safely integrated into these areas,” Gomez said.

Industry leaders are calling for clear regulatory guidelines that provide stability for investments while preventing monopolistic dominance by large tech companies. There is a growing need for consistent regulatory frameworks across different countries to support global AI development.

Global Engagement and Strategic Dialogue

Participants at the summit include representatives from the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies, as well as invitees from Singapore and Australia. While China will not join the virtual summit, it is expected to attend the in-person ministerial session on Wednesday, highlighting its significant role in global AI discussions.

The South Korean government has not disclosed specific industry leaders attending the summit, but Elon Musk’s engagement with President Yoon on social media has attracted attention, indicating the high-profile nature of the event.

Building on the Bletchley Declaration

The Seoul summit aims to expand on the foundations laid by the Bletchley Declaration, addressing a broader range of AI-related risks and promoting the establishment of state-backed AI Safety Institutes, a trend led by the UK and the US. These institutes will play a crucial role in evaluating AI models and ensuring their safe deployment.

As the global community addresses the ethical and practical implications of AI, the agreements forged at the Seoul summit are expected to guide the future of AI regulation, ensuring that the technology’s benefits are maximized while mitigating its risks.

Photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

22nd May, 2024

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