South Korea to host second AI Safety Summit on May 21-22

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows words "Artificial Intelligence AI\

By Martin Coulter

LONDON (Reuters) - South Korea will host the second global AI (artificial intelligence) safety summit on May 21-22, six months after Britain held the inaugural event at Bletchley Park.

In a statement published on Friday, government officials said the event would build on the "Bletchley Declaration", an agreement between countries - including the U.S. and China - to cooperate on AI safety.

CONTEXT

When Microsoft-backed OpenAI released ChatGPT in late 2022, many were impressed, while some were alarmed.

Former Google researcher and "godfather of AI" Geoffrey Hinton said the technology posed a more urgent threat to the world than climate change. Elon Musk called for an immediate pause in the development of such systems.

In November last year, Britain hosted the first AI Safety Summit, bringing together world leaders, tech moguls and academics to discuss how best to regulate the rapidly developing technology.

After the two-day event, more than 25 government representatives signed a joint declaration agreeing that countries would work together and establish a common approach on oversight.

In order to keep pace with the technology, it was agreed that future summits would take place every six months. South Korea will hold a largely virtual event in May, with France hosting the next in-person summit later in 2024.

KEY QUOTES

"The AI Safety Summit held in Bletchley last year marked a milestone in which the government, industry and academia came together to address the potential risks of AI, and I am pleased that the Republic of Korea takes the baton from the UK," said Lee Jong-Ho of South Korea's ministry of science and information and communication technology.

"AI is advancing at an unprecedented pace that exceeds our expectations, and it is crucial to establish global norms and governance to harness such technological innovations to enhance the welfare of humanity."

(Reporting by Martin Coulter; editing by Mark Heinrich)