AI Safety Summit: public safety becomes top priority for future policies on AI

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The rapid development of AI has caused concern from various industries, especially the labour sector, with potential issues being brought forward like job cuts and privacy breaches for example.

The UK appears to have taken a leading stance in addressing those issues by hosting the first international summit of its kind on general AI safety and what is needed to protect the public as the technology grows stronger. 

Some of the biggest tech industry shareholders, such as Elon Musk and ChatGPT’s Sam Altman, ventured to London’s Bletchley Park alongside the most powerful global leaders to discuss the implications of AI, which Musk noted grows in capability ‘ten-fold’ annually.

In a one-to-one interview with PM Rishi Sunak, Musk highlighted the power of AI by saying: “We are seeing the most destructive force in history here.”

He then added that there might be a point in our lives coming “where no job is needed – you can have a job if you want one for personal satisfaction but AI will do everything.

“It’s both good and bad – one of the challenges in the future will be how do we find meaning in life.”

And in an effort to lay the grounds of finding that balance, the two-day summit saw the signing of the Bletchley Park Communicate, which ensures that the UK, the US, China and all other countries that are at the forefront of the AI revolution remain committed to the single goal of ensuring that artificial intelligence will mostly benefit humanity by prematurely eliminating all threats that might come along with it. 

The UK’s efforts to maintain that promise will be supported by the newly-announced AI Safety Institute, which the government has stated “will focus on advanced AI safety for the public interest”. 

What’s more, “its mission is to minimise surprise to the UK and humanity from rapid and unexpected advances in AI. It will work towards this by developing the sociotechnical infrastructure needed to understand the risks of advanced AI and enable its governance”.

All eyes will be on South Korea in May next year as the country prepares to host the second AI Safety Summit, with France taking point for hosting duties a year later.

The use of AI is also bound to cause significant changes in the payments industry, with Tony Craddock, Director General of The Payments Association, commenting that the fintech industry in the UK should now be more united than ever before as it braces for impact with the new technology. 

He said: “The sector needs to learn to use AI effectively. As political leaders need to get on the same page with regards to the development of AI, it’s essential that the fintech community does the same and ensure we are a united force to weather the inevitable changes that are just around the corner. 

“This is why The Payments Association released its own Payments Manifesto during the political campaign season: to hammer home the importance of the payments sector to the government and enhance collaboration within the sector.”

The manifesto additionally brings the focus on some of the biggest problems for the fintech sector, including APP fraud, and calls for more collaboration between financial institutions, Big Tech and merchants when it comes to cross-industry data sharing efforts.