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AI Draws Attention at G7 Summit, With Leaders Calling for Guidelines

The leaders of the Group of Seven nations say we need to develop an international framework "to achieve the common vision and goal of trustworthy AI."

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
Credentials
  • Ed was a member of the CNET crew that won a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for general excellence online. He's also edited pieces that've nabbed prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and others.
Edward Moyer
3 min read
Luminous illustration showing an abstract representation of digital signals forming themselves into a human brain
Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Like other people, you may be impressed by generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E but also concerned about their potential effects on society: Will they overwhelm us with a deluge of convincing but false information and images? Will they undermine the intellectual property rights of writers, artists and other creators? Will they steal our jobs?

You may be at least a little relieved to know that world leaders and lawmakers seem to be paying attention. On Saturday, the leaders of the Group of Seven, or G7, nations issued a bulletin about their summit this week in Hiroshima, Japan, with concerns about artificial intelligence set alongside a host of other international issues.

The heads of the G7 countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US (plus the EU) -- called for a G7 working group to establish by the end of the year the Hiroshima AI process, for carrying out talks about how best to deal with chatbots, image generators and other AI technologies. The talks would center on developing an international framework "to achieve the common vision and goal of trustworthy AI," the bulletin says.

"These discussions could include topics such as governance, safeguard of intellectual property rights including copy rights, promotion of transparency, response to foreign information manipulation, including disinformation, and responsible utilization of these technologies," the bulletin says.

Though it's unclear what exactly might come of the talks, the G7's focus on AI is another sign that people in high places are aware of the worries around the technology and are cautious about letting its development continue unfettered. The G7's bulletin follows other recent moves by government to examine and address AI and its potential perils.

This week, a US Senate subcommittee for privacy, technology and the law questioned Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT creator Open AI, about the pros and cons of AI, and Altman agreed that some sort of regulation is needed. Earlier in the month, US Vice President Kamala Harris met with tech CEOs to discuss AI's risks, and the White House unveiled a series of initiatives geared toward addressing those dangers. And in April, the European Union released draft rules that would govern a wide range of AI technologies.

Read more: Elon Musk Is Right: We Need to Regulate AI Now

Since AI chatbot ChatGPT burst on the scene late last year, capturing peoples' imaginations with its humanlike conversational abilities and responses to questions, tech companies have been quick to get on board. They fear that a failure to keep up with AI could render them obsolete. Microsoft has added an AI chatbot to its Bing search engine, Amazon has released an AI coding companion and, most recently, Google has revealed its own AI search makeover, with AI seizing pride of place at the tech giant's annual I/O conference.

In their bulletin, the G7 leaders say they'll work with tech companies and others to develop standards for AI geared toward "responsible innovation and implementation." They also acknowledge that government policy hasn't always kept up with the speedy growth of tech.

"We recognize that, while rapid technological change has been strengthening societies and economies, the international governance of new digital technologies has not necessarily kept pace," the bulletin says. "As the pace of technological evolution accelerates, we affirm the importance to address common governance challenges and to identify potential gaps."

Watch this: ChatGPT Creator Testifies Before Congress On AI Safety and Regulation

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.