UK’s calls to action to address AI revolution | UNGA78
In his address to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78), Oliver Dowden, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as well as the Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom, articulated a powerful message concerning the imminent impact of AI on our global landscape.
Mr Dowden opened his speech by acknowledging the profound transformation already underway due to AI. He emphasised how AI is poised to reshape many industries and sectors and our way of life as a whole. Furthermore, he highlighted its potential to fundamentally alter the functioning of governments and international relations. He referred to AI as ‘the biggest transformation the world has known,’ underscoring the urgency for governments to comprehend, control, and adapt to this seismic shift.
The address stressed the need to prepare not just for current AI capabilities but also for the AI of the future, which possesses the potential to process vast amounts of human knowledge in mere seconds. The speech also delved into the myriad ways AI can address global challenges. Dowden highlighted its potential to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues, such as climate change. AI, he argued, could be a democratizing force, empowering people worldwide to participate in its development.
However, Mr Dowden didn’t shy away from acknowledging the risks associated with AI. He raised concerns about the misuse of AI by individuals or groups for malicious purposes, citing examples such as cyberattacks and deepfake manipulation. Moreover, he emphasised the unprecedented nature of frontier AI, which often operates beyond human comprehension and the urgent need for a shared understanding of its risks.
To address these challenges, the United Kingdom is hosting the AI Safety Summit in November, aiming to facilitate discussions on extreme risks and safe AI use for public benefit. Dowden emphasised that global cooperation is essential, given the international reach and influence of tech companies and non-state actors in AI development.
The speech concluded by underlining the need for constant vigilance and cooperation among nations, academics, researchers, and tech companies to navigate the AI revolution successfully.
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