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G7 Leaders Advocate for Global AI Technical Standards

Leaders and delegates pose for a photo ahead of a G7 working session on food, health and development during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Saturday, May 20, 2023. Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS

G7 leaders have emphasized the need to establish global technical standards for artificial intelligence (AI), citing the lag in governance compared to the rapid growth of the technology.

During their meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, the G7 leaders acknowledged the varying approaches to achieving trustworthy AI but stressed that the regulations for digital technologies, including AI, should align with shared democratic values.

This development comes as the European Union (EU), a G7 participant, moves closer to passing comprehensive AI legislation, which could set a precedent for advanced economies worldwide.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the importance of accurate, reliable, safe, and non-discriminatory AI systems, regardless of their origin.

The G7 leaders recognized the significance of assessing the opportunities and challenges presented by generative AI, a subset of AI exemplified by applications like the ChatGPT app.

Concerns raised by Elon Musk and a group of AI experts earlier this year about the risks associated with developing more powerful AI systems have prompted calls for a pause in advancement. In response, EU lawmakers urged global leaders to explore methods of controlling AI technologies, which are evolving faster than anticipated.

While the United States has approached AI governance cautiously, President Joe Biden recently stated that it remains to be seen whether AI poses risks. CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, suggested that the US should consider licensing and testing requirements for AI model development.

Japan, as the current chair of the G7, has taken a more accommodating stance, supporting the adoption of AI in public and industrial sectors while closely monitoring associated risks.

China, in contrast, has implemented a restrictive policy on AI, with its cyberspace regulator unveiling draft measures aligning generative AI-powered services with the country’s socialist values.

Although the G7 leaders acknowledge the divergent views on AI regulation, they have agreed to establish a ministerial forum called the “Hiroshima AI process” to address generative AI-related issues, including copyrights and disinformation, by the end of this year.

Furthermore, the leaders have called upon international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to conduct analyses on the impact of policy developments.

This G7 summit follows a meeting of digital ministers last month, during which members affirmed their commitment to adopting “risk-based” AI regulations.

The EU and the US will also exchange perspectives on emerging technologies at the upcoming Trade and Technology Council in Sweden on May 30-31.

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