Global AI tech companies agree to set of safety outcomes in ‘world first’

A “precedent for global standards on AI safety” has been established after 16 AI tech companies committed to a set of safety outcomes at a major summit, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said.

The development comes on the opening day of the AI Seoul Summit, with companies from the US, China, Europe and the Middle East agreeing to each publish safety frameworks on how they will measure risks of their frontier AI models, such as examining the risk of misuse of the technology by bad actors.

The frameworks will also outline when severe risks, unless adequately mitigated, would be “deemed intolerable” and what companies will do to ensure thresholds are not surpassed.

In the most extreme circumstances, the companies have also committed to “not develop or deploy a model or system at all” if mitigations cannot keep risks below the thresholds.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Meta and Open AI are among the companies which have signed up to the Frontier AI Safety Commitments.

Rishi Sunak speech at Policy Exchange – London
Rishi Sunak called the development a ‘world first’ (Carl Court/PA)

Mr Sunak said: “It’s a world first to have so many leading AI companies from so many different parts of the globe all agreeing to the same commitments on AI safety.

“These commitments ensure the world’s leading AI companies will provide transparency and accountability on their plans to develop safe AI.

“It sets a precedent for global standards on AI safety that will unlock the benefits of this transformative technology.”

The two-day summit follows the first such gathering at Bletchley Park, the home of the UK’s Second World War codebreakers, in November.

Mr Sunak added: “The UK’s Bletchley summit was a great success and together with the Republic of Korea we are continuing that success by delivering concrete progress at the AI Seoul Summit.”

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, who is in Seoul for the summit focused on AI safety, sustainability and resilience, said: “The true potential of AI will only be unleashed if we’re able to grip the risks.

“It is on all of us to make sure AI is developed safely and today’s agreement means we now have bolstered commitments from AI companies and better representation across the globe.”