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Global leaders vow to promote safe, inclusive AI at Seoul summit

Samsung, Naver chiefs pledge to enhance safety of AI innovation

May 22, 2024 - 15:41 By Jie Ye-eun
Leaders of major global powers participate in a virtual session of the AI Seoul Summit, co-hosted by President Yoon Suk Yeol and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday. (Presidential office)

Leaders of major global powers Tuesday adopted a declaration pledging to promote safe, innovative and inclusive artificial intelligence amid the fast-evolving tech environment.

The “Seoul Declaration” was adopted during a virtual leaders' session of the AI Seoul Summit, co-hosted by President Yoon Suk Yeol and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The declaration aims to address the broad spectrum of opportunities and challenges posed by the design, development, deployment and use of AI.

"We recognize that Al safety, innovation and inclusivity are interrelated goals and that it is important to encompass these priorities in international discussions on Al governance to address the broad spectrum of opportunities and challenges that the design, development, deployment and use of Al presents and may present," the declaration said.

"We recognize the importance of interoperability between AI governance frameworks in line with a risk-based approach to maximize the benefits and address the broad range of risks from AI, to ensure the safe, secure and trustworthy design, development, deployment and use of Al," it further read.

The session was joined by leaders of the US, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia, Singapore and the European Union, along with representatives from international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Eleven entities from the private sector, including Google DeepMind, Samsung Electronics, Korean top portal operator Naver, OpenAI, Amazon Web Services and Meta, also participated in the session.

During the video conference session, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong vowed to commit his efforts in the global community for safe, innovative and inclusive AI technology, pledging to incorporate AI technology into the company's services and products.

“Samsung will cooperate with the global community in establishing international standards and developing solutions that promote safe, inclusive and sustainable technology,” he said during the leaders’ session, according to Samsung Electronics.

“AI is not just about industry disruption or economic growth. It is about fundamentally reshaping how we live, work and interact with the world. … We see a very unique opportunity to leverage this technology for good, but it is also essential that we do it responsibly. As we progress in innovation, minimizing the misuse and maximizing the benefits of AI must be a global conversation.”

Highlighting Samsung’s core value of “moving humanity forward through technology,” Chairman Lee further stressed that he would seek ways to help bridge technological divides and disparities between countries and within societies.

Another participant, the founder of Naver, called for the creation of various AI models that understand the different cultural and environmental contexts of each region and provide colorful perspectives at the AI Seoul summit, the company said.

Lee Hae-jin, currently Naver's global investment officer, also expressed concern about the danger of only a few AI models, which would hugely impact on characteristics of future generations and their perspective on history and culture.

“Naver respects and understands the culture and values ​​of each region with responsibility and will support technology in any form so that many countries around the world can secure their own sovereign AI,” Naver's Lee said.

The company said he further hinted at the company’s plan to unveil its AI safety framework next month as part of its efforts to enhance innovation and inclusiveness in AI technologies.

On Wednesday, an in-person ministerial session took place at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology to discuss action to strengthen AI safety and achieve sustainability and resilience.

Based on this, the Seoul minister's statement on promoting AI safety, innovation and inclusion was adopted, which included Korea's AI and chip vision to respond to the enormous power consumption resulting from the spread of AI, including low-power semiconductors.

The two-day AI Seoul Summit follows the inaugural global AI safety summit held at Bletchley Park in the UK last November, where 28 countries and the European Union adopted the Bletchley Declaration, the first global guidelines on AI safety.

This year's summit marked a significant advancement from the previous year, with the Seoul Declaration highlighting the global community's increased efforts to identify the risks of AI. It emphasized the importance of interoperability between AI governance frameworks, aligned with a risk-based approach, to maximize benefits and address the broad range of risks associated with AI.

“The AI Seoul Summit is expected to advance AI norms and governance at the global level by consolidating past efforts such as the Digital Bill of Rights established by the Korean government, the UN General Assembly's AI resolution, and the Hiroshima AI process at the G7 level,” the presidential office said.