Major New AI Agreement Seals Global Commitment to Safety

The UK and South Korea have led a global agreement with major tech firms to commit to rigorous AI safety standards, emphasizing responsible development and deployment.

In a new development for artificial intelligence (AI) safety, the governments of the UK and the Republic of Korea have brokered an agreement with some of the world’s foremost technology companies. The Frontier AI Safety Commitments, announced on the 21st of May, see giants like Amazon, Google, IBM, and OpenAI, among others, pledge to develop and deploy AI responsibly.

Under the agreement, 16 prominent organizations—including Meta, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, and lesser-known players like Mistral AI and Zhipu.ai—have committed to a mainly voluntary safety framework. This framework is designed to mitigate severe risks associated with AI technologies, ensuring that innovations are aligned with the best practices in safety and security.

The commitments focus on developing a safety framework that these organizations will demonstrate at the upcoming AI Summit in France. With AI’s capabilities and potential risks evolving rapidly, these tech leaders have agreed to not only adhere to current safety standards but also to continuously update their practices and publicly report their progress.

Key aspects of the voluntary commitments include internal and external red-teaming of AI models to combat severe and novel threats, enhanced cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive AI model data, and robust mechanisms to ensure users can recognize AI-generated content. Additionally, these organizations will invest in research focused on the societal impacts of AI, aiming to harness AI’s power to address global challenges effectively.

Outcome 1 of the agreement specifies that organizations must conduct thorough risk assessments throughout the AI lifecycle, from development to deployment. This includes setting clear thresholds for severe risks, with input from trusted actors such as home governments and international bodies. If these thresholds are breached, companies must reassess and potentially halt development to mitigate risks adequately.

Further commitments emphasize the importance of transparency and accountability in AI development. The organizations have agreed to regularly review their safety and governance frameworks, ensuring that they are robust and responsive to emerging threats. Public reporting on safety practices and engagement with external stakeholders, including governments and civil society, are also key components of the agreement.

This pact marks a significant step forward in the international community’s efforts to ensure AI technologies are developed with the highest safety standards. By agreeing guidelines and committing to ongoing oversight and updates, these leading tech companies and governments are laying the groundwork for a safer, more responsible AI-driven future. Only time will tell as to how these agreements hold up as AI develops.

Staff Writer

Our in-house science writing team has prepared this content specifically for Lab Horizons

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