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The Bletchley Declaration ushers in global artificial intelligence unity

artificial intelligence (ai) and machine learning (ml)

The Bletchley Declaration was signed by Australia and 27 other countries at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, United Kingdom. The Declaration establishes a pivotal shared understanding of the opportunities and risks associated with frontier artificial intelligence and is designed to unify the countries in the responsible development and use of AI on a global scale.

The Declaration affirms the collective stance that AI should be developed and deployed in a manner that is safe, human-centric, trustworthy, and responsible. The signatories express their support for international efforts to cooperate on AI, aiming to foster inclusive economic growth, sustainable development, innovation, and the protection of human rights.

As AI systems already play a crucial role in various aspects of daily life, including housing, employment, transport, education, health, accessibility, and justice, the Declaration underscores the unique moment to act and ensure the safe development of AI. It emphasises the importance of utilising AI for the greater good, including addressing public service needs, achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and reinforcing human rights enjoyment.

However, the Declaration also acknowledges the significant risks inherent with AI use, particularly at the frontier where highly capable general-purpose AI models could pose intentional misuse or unintended control issues. The signatories express particular concern about potential risks in domains such as cybersecurity and biotechnology, as well as the amplification of risks like disinformation.

To address these challenges, the Declaration advocates for international cooperation, recognising that AI risks are inherently global. The commitment is to work together in an inclusive manner through existing international forums and initiatives to ensure human-centric, trustworthy, and responsible AI. It further emphasises the importance of a pro-innovation and proportionate governance and regulatory approach that maximises benefits while considering associated risks. It calls for cooperation on common principles and codes of conduct and commits to intensifying and sustaining cooperation, broadening it with additional countries, and identifying, understanding, and acting on risks, particularly those associated with frontier AI.

The Declaration ultimately concludes that all nations, international fora, companies, civil society, and academia, have a role in ensuring AI safety. It underscores the importance of international collaboration, inclusive AI, and bridging the digital divide to engage a broad range of partners and foster development-oriented approaches that support sustainable growth.

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