States to work together to contain the risks of AI

At an international summit in the UK, 28 countries from five continents, including China, have agreed to work together to regulate artificial intelligence. In a declaration they emphasised their intention to better understand and collectively manage the risks of AI. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke of a "milestone". Commentators discuss where to go from here.

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

From urgency to action

It’s time for a concrete plan of action, NRC urges:

“In addition to the fundamental dangers associated with AI, there are also acute problems. Because it is so easy to spread deepfakes and manipulate information, tech companies and states need to work together. The concentration of power in the hands of multinationals means we need an international approach. AI’s enormous energy consumption is also a problem. Let’s hope the global community can translate the shared sense of urgency into new regulations and institutions and bring this collective challenge for humanity onto a positive track.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Question profit-seeking mentality

The summit was a success because it launched a global discussion on the subject, notes the Financial Times, but it delivered more questions than answers:

“The biggest unanswered question from Bletchley, though, was whether profit-seeking companies are the best organisations to pursue artificial general intelligence. ... To pursue that mission, some experts have called for a collaborative international research agency akin to CERN [European Organisation for Nuclear Research]. It was striking that Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, expressed doubts about whether the Silicon Valley ethos, typified by the mantra ‘move fast and break things’, was the best approach.”

John Thornhill
Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Democracies work slowly

A major problem in dealing with AI is the pace of technological advances, notes the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“Governments, particularly those that are democratically elected, work slowly. They need time to reach compromises, to hear all sides. And that is a good thing. In the case of AI, however, this slowness has sinister consequences. When the European Union started discussing AI more than three years ago, programmes like Chat-GPT had not even been invented. Politicians in Brussels and Strasbourg have been overtaken by the swift pace of technological advances, and had to adapt their strategies fast. And this will be the case in the future too.”

Ann-Kathrin Nezik