May 27, 2024

Delegates pose for a family photo during the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, Britain, Nov. 2, 2023. (Reuters)

Arab News, LONDON: Twenty-eight countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel have signed the “Bletchley Declaration,” an agreement that aims to ensure the safe development and use of artificial intelligence technologies.

The signing took place on day one of the two-day AI Safety Summit, a major international event that began on Wednesday at Bletchley Park in North West London.

The participants included Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, president of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, government ministers from a number of countries, and senior representatives of specialist technology and AI institutions, state news agency SPA reported.

The UK, the US, the EU and China were among those who agreed to work together to ensure that AI technologies are developed and used in a safe and responsible manner, given the potentially catastrophic risks and unintended consequences of such technologies for humanity.

The summit identified three key areas to address: identification of the risks posed by AI, the development of risk-based policies by nations, and support for an international research network to study the safety of AI.

The declaration was described by officials as a step toward enhancing cooperation among stakeholders in the development and use of modern technologies, which calls for the sharing of information, transparency and accountability in the field of AI, with a focus on the importance of joint action for the common good and to minimize risks.

On Thursday, the second and final day of the summit, Al-Ghamdi held meetings with officials from a number of countries on the sidelines of the event, the SPA said.

During talks with Jonathan Berry, Viscount Camrose, the British minister for AI and intellectual property, he discussed a number of AI-related topics, and reviewed cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the UK in the field and how it might be enhanced. They also reviewed the summit’s activities, including the Bletchley Declaration.

Al-Ghamdi and Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO’s assistant director general for social and human sciences, talked about the important role AI can play in promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, along with other issues including UNESCO’s recommendations on AI ethics and the Kingdom’s work in this area.

The Saudi official and Alexandra van Huffelen, the Dutch minister for digitalization, discussed how best to deal with AI and its advanced technologies within a framework of international controls that can help guarantee the benefits for the good of humanity. Al-Ghamdi also held talks with Singapore’s minister of communications and information, Josephine Teo, about ways to enhance cooperation between their countries in the field of advanced technologies within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030 development and diversification agenda.


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