New AI Safety Pledge Made by AI Giants at AI Seoul Summit

ODSC - Open Data Science
3 min readMay 23, 2024

Leading tech giants made a fresh pledge at an AI mini-summit Tuesday to develop AI safely in Seoul South Korea. This comes as world leaders agreed to build a network of publicly backed safety institutes to advance research and testing of the technology.

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Google, Meta, and OpenAI were among the companies that made voluntary safety commitments at the AI Seoul Summit, including pulling the plug on their cutting-edge systems if they can’t rein in the most extreme risks.

This two-day meeting follows November’s AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park in the United Kingdom and comes amid a flurry of efforts by governments and global bodies to design guardrails for the technology, addressing fears about the risks it poses to both everyday life and humanity.

Leaders from 10 countries and the European Union aimed to “forge a common understanding of AI safety and align their work on AI research,” according to a statement by the British government, which co-hosted the event. The network of safety institutes will include those already set up by the U.K., U.S., Japan, and Singapore since the Bletchley meeting.

AI presents immense opportunities to transform our economy and solve our greatest challenges,” said Britain’s Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan. “But I have always been clear that this full potential can only be unlocked if we are able to grip the risks posed by this rapidly evolving, complex technology.”

The 16 AI companies that signed up for the safety commitments also include Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, IBM, xAI, France’s Mistral AI, China’s, and G42 of the United Arab Emirates. They vowed to ensure the safety of their most advanced AI models with promises of accountable governance and public transparency.

This is not the first time AI companies have made such voluntary safety commitments. Last year, Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft were part of a group that signed up to voluntary safeguards brokered by the White House to ensure their products are safe before releasing them. The Seoul meeting coincides with some of these companies rolling out the latest versions of their AI models.

The safety pledge includes publishing frameworks detailing how the companies will measure the risks of their models. In extreme cases where risks are severe and “intolerable,” AI companies will need to activate the kill switch, halting the development or deployment of their models and systems if they cannot mitigate the risks.

Since the U.K. meeting last year, the AI industry has “increasingly focused on the most pressing concerns, including misinformation, data security, bias, and keeping humans in the loop,” said Aiden Gomez, CEO of Cohere, one of the AI companies that signed the pact. “It is essential that we continue to consider all possible risks while prioritizing our efforts on those most likely to create problems if not properly addressed.

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This week’s meeting is one of many efforts on AI governance. The U.N. General Assembly has approved its first resolution on the safe use of AI systems, while the U.S. and China recently held their first high-level talks on AI. The European Union’s world-first AI Act is set to take effect later this year.

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