G7 calls for ‘responsible’ use of generative artificial intelligence - GulfToday

G7 calls for ‘responsible’ use of generative artificial intelligence


G7 leaders arrive for a family photo during the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

The world must urgently assess the impact of generative artificial intelligence, G7 leaders said on Saturday, announcing they will launch discussions this year on “responsible” use of the technology.

A working group will be set up to tackle issues from copyright to disinformation, the seven leading economies said in a final communique released during a summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

Text generation tools such as ChatGPT, image creators and music composed using AI have sparked delight, alarm and legal battles as creators accuse them of scraping material without permission.

Governments worldwide are under pressure to move quickly to mitigate the risks, with the chief executive of ChatGPT’s OpenAI telling US lawmakers this week that regulating AI was essential.

“We recognise the need to immediately take stock of the opportunities and challenges of generative AI, which is increasingly prominent across countries and sectors,” the G7 statement said.

“We task relevant ministers to establish the Hiroshima AI process, through a G7 working group, in an inclusive manner... for discussions on generative AI by the end of this year,” it said.

“These discussions could include topics such as governance, safeguard of intellectual property rights including copyrights, promotion of transparency, response to foreign information manipulation, including disinformation, and responsible utilisation of these technologies.”

The new working group will be organised in cooperation with the OECD group of developed countries and the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), the statement added.

On Tuesday, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before a US Senate panel and urged Congress to impose new rules on big tech.

He insisted that in time, generative AI developed by his company would one day “address some of humanity’s biggest challenges, like climate change and curing cancer”.

However, “we think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models,” he said.

European Parliament lawmakers this month also took a first step towards EU-wide regulation of ChatGPT and other AI systems.

The text is to be put to the full parliament next month for adoption before negotiations with EU member states on a final law.

“While rapid technological change has been strengthening societies and economies, the international governance of new digital technologies has not necessarily kept pace,” the G7 said.

For AI and other emerging technologies including immersive metaverses, “the governance of the digital economy should continue to be updated in line with our shared democratic values”, the group said.

Among others, these values include fairness, respect for privacy and “protection from online harassment, hate and abuse”, among others, it added.

Gas investments back: The Group of Seven rich nations put support for gas investments back into their communique on Saturday, calling it a “temporary” step as they try to de-couple from Russian energy, in a move climate activists say may hurt climate goals.

The April meeting of G7 climate ministers eventually agreed, despite tussles between Japan and European nations, that gas investments “can be appropriate to help address potential market shortfalls” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it has caused in global energy markets.

Saturday’s G7 leaders statement at their summit in Japan’s Hiroshima changed the language - eventually formulated by Germany, sources say - to include gas investments again, with the gas investments back saying it was “necessary to accelerate the phase-out of our dependency on Russian energy”. “We stress the important role that increased deliveries of LNG (liquefied natural gas) can play, and acknowledge that investment in the sector can be appropriate in response to the current crisis and to address potential gas market shortfalls provoked by the crisis,” the statement said.

The phase-out would also rely on “energy savings and gas demand reduction” in line with Paris climate goals and the acceleration of renewable energy development, the document said, calling clean energy a means of energy security.

German government officials rejected that criticism, saying investments are needed to get away from Russian gas and find a replacement.

“We also need some new gas power station, but they should be built in a way that they can run on green hydrogen later on as well. So it is an investment in the clean future as well,” a German government official said.

Japan considers LNG as a transition fuel towards a greener economy and Germany, once Moscow’s top gas buyer, has had to increase its investment in gas infrastructure after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to cuts in supplies.

“In the exceptional circumstance of accelerating the phase out of our dependency on Russian energy, publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate as a temporary response,” Saturday’s communique said.

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