MPs demand a global summit on dangers of AI's rapid development

MPs demand a global summit on danger of AI’s rapid development – despite Jeremy Hunt insisting it can be the ‘answer’ to boosting the UK’s economy

  • Hunt reaffirms value of emerging technology in reversing growth challenges
  • Comes as GCHQ boss warns AI could lead to an ‘explosion’ in misinformation 

MPs yesterday called for an international summit to address the dangers posed by artificial intelligence.

It came on the same day the Chancellor insisted AI will boost the economy without destroying jobs.

MPs want the UK to host an annual gathering to help establish regulations to govern AI’s rapid development.

But while Jeremy Hunt acknowledged AI could be used ‘in a bad way’, he told Politico: ‘I truly believe that AI can be the answer to the productivity and growth challenge that all advanced economies are facing.’

Jeremy Hunt told Politico AI could be key to fixing Britain’s productivity and growth challenges

In the address, Hunt also said workers will need to retrain throughout their lives as technology changes what jobs are needed, for example Uber drivers will need different jobs when we move to driverless cars.

Third of firms hacked 

Almost a third of businesses and a quarter of charities were victims of a cyber attack last year.

The average cost to a business was £1,100, rising to nearly £5,000 for medium and large businesses – of which 59 and 69 per cent were targeted respectively – the survey by pollsters Ipsos found.

The National Cyber Security Centre has warned the number of victims will rise as more spyware, hackers for hire and better tools make it easier to steal data.

The calls for a global summit comes after more than a thousand tech executives and academics in the US, including Twitter boss Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, called for a six-month pause on the AI arms race. 

They warn that developers have created software that ‘no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control’.

This week Google boss Sundar Pichai said the threat posed to humanity by AI ‘keeps me up at night’ after the company’s AI chatbot Bard learnt Bangladeshi without training. 

Tory former Cabinet minister David Davis called for an international summit to tackle the issue.

He said: ‘We could lead in this area. We’re leaders in the field, along with America, and because we’re free post-Brexit to make up our own minds, we could actually be very creative with it.’

Tory chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, Julian Knight, said: ‘We need the very best thinkers to come together and look at how best to roll out this exciting but potentially very dangerous technology.’

Professor Alan Woodward, cyber expert at the University of Surrey added: ‘What we need is a high level conference comprising experts and policy makers to discuss and agree the risks and how these can be mitigated through international agreement.’

Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google, said AI’s ‘threat’ keeps him up at night

The Government has outlined five principles for regulators to consider to ensure AI’s ‘safe and innovative’ use – safety, contestability, transparency, fairness, and accountability.

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