President Ursula von der Leyen's address at the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit stressed the vital role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and spotlighted the supercomputer Leonardo's contributions to the field. The historic backdrop of Bletchley Park, the birthplace of modern computing, set the stage for her message.
She began by acknowledging the uncertain timeline for achieving reasoning machines. The urgency of this challenge was clear, as we stand on the precipice of an era where intelligent machines can make decisions.
To address the complex challenges of AI safety, von der Leyen drew insights from history, particularly the development of nuclear weapons. This history demonstrated the importance of an independent scientific community, capable of evaluating AI risks objectively. She emphasized the need for these scientists to have access to resources and the freedom to identify AI risks.
The President highlighted the importance of the European supercomputing ecosystem, providing independent scientists access to cutting-edge resources and fostering AI innovation, and proposed a four-pillar framework to understand and mitigate AI risks. This included support for an independent scientific community with access to supercomputers, globally recognized AI safety standards, incident reporting and follow-up, and an international alert system.
First, we need a thriving and independent scientific community, equipped with the means to evaluate AI systems.They need public funding and access to the best supercomputers. In the past 5 years, the EU has built the largest public network of supercomputers in the world. And we already give access to Lumi in Finland and Leonardo in Italy to start-ups and testers.
She emphasized a culture of responsibility for both private actors and public authorities. Private actors must embed responsibility within their business models, while public authorities are responsible for the safety and security of citizens.
President von der Leyen introduced the European AI Act, designed to support innovation, harness AI benefits, and focus regulation on high risks. This act was in the final stages of the legislative process, with discussions about establishing a European AI Office. This office would oversee advanced AI models, collaborate with the scientific community, and enforce common rules across all 27 Member States.
In conclusion, von der Leyen stressed the significance of getting started on the path to responsible AI development, underlining the role of the European supercomputing ecosystem in fostering AI innovation and safety.
President Ursula von der Leyen's address at the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit stressed the vital role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and spotlighted Leonardo's contributions to the field. The historic backdrop of Bletchley Park, the birthplace of modern computing, set the stage for her message.
European Commission President’s Remarks on AI Safety at Bletchley Park Summit
In a significant address at the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her thoughts on AI safety priorities for the coming years and the concrete steps necessary to ensure the safe development and deployment of artificial intelligence. Von der Leyen stressed the need to act swiftly in this rapidly evolving era of intelligent machines.
Drawing parallels from the history of atomic energy and the nuclear bomb, the President highlighted the importance of an independent scientific community in evaluating the risks of AI. She called for a system of objective checks and balances and the nurturing of outstanding, independent scientists to identify and address AI risks.
Concrete Steps to Ensure Frontier AI Safety
Continuing her remarks, President von der Leyen expanded on concrete steps to make frontier AI safe. She discussed the need for a four-pillar framework:
1. Thriving Scientific Community: The importance of a thriving and independent scientific community equipped with resources to evaluate AI systems. She pointed out that the EU has already built the world’s largest public network of supercomputers, including the renowned supercomputer Leonardo in Italy, which provides access to startups and testers.
2. Internationally Accepted Standards: The development of internationally accepted procedures and standards for testing AI safety.
3. Incident Reporting: A commitment to reporting and following up on significant incidents caused by errors or misuse of AI.
4. International Alert System: An international system of alerts fed by trusted entities to ensure timely response to emerging AI risks.
The European Commission is in the final stages of the legislative process for the AI Act, aimed at supporting innovation, harvesting AI benefits, and regulating high-risk AI applications. Additionally, they are discussing the establishment of a European AI Office, which will work closely with the scientific community, foster standards and testing practices, and enforce common rules across all 27 Member States for advanced AI models. This office will not only benefit European businesses but also have a global outlook and cooperate with similar entities worldwide.
President Ursula von der Leyen’s remarks concluded with a call to action, urging that history is watching and quoting Mark Twain: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”