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Bletchley Declaration: 28 countries agree to tackle AI risk at safety summit

World leaders sign the Bletchley Declaration at the AI Safety Summit
Image credit: Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

The UK’s tech secretary has announced that leaders from 28 countries, including the US and China, have signed the “Bletchley Declaration”, a joint commitment to tackling the risks of AI.

The shared agreement is a starting point for international cooperation on the most urgent risks associated with advanced AI, including in cybersecurity and biotechnology. It was signed by leaders from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the EU.

Michelle Donelan, the secretary of state for tech, revealed the joint commitment at the AI Safety Summit to an audience of world leaders, tech executives and academics on a drizzly morning at Bletchley Park.

The Bletchley Declaration sets out agreement from 28 nations that there is “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.”

The declaration adds: “Given the rapid and uncertain rate of change of AI, and in the context of the acceleration of investment in technology, we affirm that deepening our understanding of these potential risks and of actions to address them is especially urgent.”

Reaffirming the summit’s goals of jointly agreeing on the risks and best practices of AI, Donelan announced that the Bletchley Declaration had been signed earlier in the morning.

Donelan added that following on from the world’s first global summit on AI safety, taking place Wednesday and Thursday, there would be further international summits over the next two years.

A South Korea summit is planned for six months from now that will be followed by an additional summit in France in one year’s time.

Attendees of the AI Safety Summit include tech billionaire Elon Musk, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Meta president of global affairs and former UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

The industry representatives at the summit are largely made up of US firms, with half of the 40 corporate attendants hailing from the states.

More updates to come. 

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