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U.S. and EU pledge to establish ties to promote research on artificial intelligence safety and risks

The European Union and the United States issued a joint statement on Friday confirming their desire to strengthen cooperation on artificial intelligence – including on AI safety and governance – and more broadly talking about their intention to cooperate in many other technical areas, such as the development of digital identities. standards and putting pressure on platforms to defend human rights.

As we reported on Wednesday, this is the outcome of the sixth (and likely final) meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the body that has been meeting since 2021 to rebuild the transatlantic relations, which have been severely damaged by Trump’s presidency.

With Donald Trump likely to return to the White House and the US presidential election taking place later this year, it is unclear how extensive EU-US cooperation will be in artificial intelligence or any other strategic technology area. actually Taking place in the next few years.

But in the current political landscape on both sides of the Atlantic, the will to push for closer agreement on a range of science and technology issues has grown. Both sides want to hear this message – hence today’s joint statement – which may itself be a wider appeal to voters on both sides to choose a program of cooperation over a destructive program of opposition at election time.

artificial intelligence conversation

In a joint statement titled “Advancing Transatlantic Leadership in Critical and Emerging Technologies,” in a section focused on artificial intelligence, the pair wrote that they “reaffirm our commitment to a risk-based approach to AI… and are committed to Advancing security.” , safe and trustworthy artificial intelligence technology.”

The statement also read: “We encourage developers of advanced artificial intelligence in the United States and Europe to further apply the Hiroshima Process’ International Code of Conduct for the Development of Advanced Artificial Intelligence Systems to complement our respective governance and regulatory systems.” Last year, the G7 on artificial intelligence Suggestions made in intelligent discussion.

The main development from the sixth TTC meeting appears to be a commitment by the EU and US AI watchdogs, the European Office for Artificial Intelligence and the US AI Safety Institute, to establish a so-called “dialogue”. Its purpose is to promote deeper collaboration between AI institutions, with a particular focus on encouraging the sharing of scientific information between their respective AI research ecosystems.

Topics highlighted here include benchmarks, potential risks, and future technology trends.

“This collaboration will help make progress towards the implementation of a joint roadmap for assessment and measurement tools for trustworthy AI and risk management, which will be critical to minimizing disagreements in our respective emerging AI governance and regulatory systems and ensuring that Cooperation on interoperability and international standards is crucial,” both sides continued to recommend.

The statement also marks an updated version of the list of key artificial intelligence terms with “mutually accepted joint definitions,” another outcome of the TTC’s ongoing stakeholder negotiations.

Agreeing on definitions will be a key part of supporting AI standardization efforts.

The third element of the EU and US agreement on artificial intelligence is to collaborate to advance research aimed at applying machine learning technologies to beneficial use cases, such as advancing healthcare outcomes, boosting agriculture and combating climate change, with a particular focus on sustainable development. At a briefing with reporters earlier this week, a senior committee official said this element of the joint work would focus on bringing advances in artificial intelligence to developing countries and the global South.

“As part of the Administrative Arrangement on Artificial Intelligence and Computing, we are advancing AI’s commitment to the sustainable development of our relationship through joint research collaborations to address global challenges and benefit the public interest,” the joint statement read. “By U.S. Science Working groups composed of joint agencies and European Commission departments and agencies have made substantial progress by identifying key milestones for deliverables in the areas of extreme weather, energy, emergency response and reconstruction. We have also made constructive progress in health and agriculture.”

In addition, an overview document on public welfare cooperation on artificial intelligence was released on Friday. According to the document, over the past six months, multidisciplinary teams from the EU and the United States have spent more than 100 hours at scientific meetings “discussing how to advance the application of artificial intelligence in ongoing projects and work processes.”

The report continues: “This collaboration has resulted in positive progress in many areas addressing challenges such as energy optimization, emergency response, urban regeneration, and extreme weather and climate prediction.” The EU and the United States intend to continue to advance cooperation and showcase innovative research globally . This will unleash the power of artificial intelligence to address global challenges. “

According to the joint statement, it is hoped to expand cooperation in this area by adding more global partners.

“We will continue to explore opportunities with our AI for Development Donor Partnership partners in the UK, Canada and Germany to accelerate and adapt our foreign aid to Africa to support educators, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens in making the most of AI commitments,” the EU and the United States noted.

On the platform front, the EU is enforcing recently passed sweeping legislation, including laws such as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act, with both sides unanimously calling on big tech companies to take measures to protect “information integrity” seriously.

Given the number of elections taking place around the world, the joint statement calls 2024 “a critical year for democratic resilience.” It included a clear warning about the threats posed by AI-generated information, saying both sides “share concerns that the malicious use of AI applications, such as the creation of harmful ‘deepfakes,’ poses new risks, including further dissemination and targeting of foreign countries.” Information Manipulation and Disruption”.

It goes on to discuss some areas of ongoing EU and US collaboration on platform governance, and includes a joint call for platforms to do more to support researchers in accessing data – particularly for research on social risks (a point raised by the EU DSA) . legal requirements for larger platforms).

Regarding e-identity, the statement mentioned ongoing collaboration on standards work, adding: “The next phase of the project will focus on identifying potential use cases for transatlantic interoperability and collaboration to enable the cross-border use of digital identities. and wallet.”

Other areas of cooperation covered by the statement include clean energy, quantum and 6G.

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