AI Safety and Risk Research: US and EU Pledge Collaboration 2024!

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Introduction:

AI Safety and Risk Research: In a joint statement released on Friday, the US and the EU reaffirmed their intention to work together more on artificial intelligence. The agreement addresses the safety and governance of AI and, more broadly, the intention to work together on several other tech-related concerns, such as creating standards for digital identities and pressuring platforms to uphold human rights.
This is the outcome of the sixth (and potentially final) meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), as we reported on Wednesday. To repair transatlantic ties damaged by the Trump administration, the TTC has been meeting since 2021.

AI Safety and Risk Research

The extent of EU-US cooperation on AI or any other strategic tech field is unclear shortly, given the probability of Donald Trump winning the presidency again in the U.S. presidential elections later this year.
However, the desire to press for greater alignment on several tech-related topics has grown stronger given the present political landscape on both sides of the Atlantic. A shared goal to spread this message is also there, which is why both parties have released this joint statement today. It may also serve as a broader plea to voters on both sides to choose a cooperative platform over a divisive alternative when elections are due.

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AI Safety and Risk Research: An AI Dialogue

The two-state that they “reaffirm our commitment to a risk-based approach to artificial intelligence… and to advancing safe, secure, and trustworthy AI technologies” in a section of their joint statement devoted to AI, filed under the heading “Advancing Transatlantic Leadership on Critical and Emerging Technologies.”

The statement also mentions a set of risk-based recommendations that emerged from G7 AI talks last year: “We encourage advanced AI developers in the United States and Europe to further the application of the Hiroshima Process International Code of Conduct for Organizations Developing Advanced AI Systems, which complements our respective governance and regulatory systems.”

The commitment to establish what is referred to as “a Dialogue” by the EU and US AI oversight organizations, the European AI Office, and the U.S. AI Safety Institute, seems to be the primary outcome of the sixth TTC conference. Deeper cooperation amongst AI institutes is the goal, with an emphasis on promoting scientific knowledge exchange within the various AI research ecosystems.
Future technology trends, potential threats, and benchmarks are some of the topics that are discussed here.

“By working together on interoperable and international standards, we can minimize divergence as appropriate in our respective emerging AI governance and regulatory systems and advance the implementation of the Joint Roadmap on Evaluation and Measurement Tools for Trustworthy AI and Risk Management,” the two parties continue.
The release also highlights a revised list of important words related to AI, citing “mutually accepted joint definitions” as a further product of continuing stakeholder discussions resulting from the TTC.

Reaching a consensus on terminology will be essential to advancing the standardization of AI.
A third component of the AI agreement between the United States and the European Union calls for cooperation to advance research into the application of machine learning technologies for positive use cases, like improving healthcare outcomes, promoting agriculture, and combating climate change, with a focus on sustainable development. During a press event earlier this week, a high-ranking commission official said that the joint working group will concentrate on delivering AI innovations to emerging nations and the global south.

As part of the Administrative Arrangement on Artificial Intelligence and Computing to address global challenges for the public good, we are progressing on the promise of AI for sustainable development in our bilateral relationship through cooperative scientific cooperation, according to the joint statement. “Working groups that are jointly staffed by departments and agencies of the European Commission and United States science agencies have made significant progress in establishing crucial milestones for deliverables in the areas of energy, emergency response, extreme weather, and reconstruction. Additionally, we are making positive strides in agriculture and health.

A summary document on the cooperation surrounding AI for the public good was also released on Friday. In scientific meetings over the last six months, diverse teams from the U.S. and the EU have reportedly spent over 100 hours “discussing how to advance applications of AI in on-going projects and workstreams,” according to the document.
It goes on: “In the upcoming months, scientific experts and ecosystems in the EU and the US intend to continue to advance their collaboration and present innovative research worldwide. The collaboration is making positive strides in several areas about challenges like energy optimization, emergency response, urban reconstruction, and extreme weather and climate forecasting.” This will unleash AI’s potential to solve world problems.

AI Safety and Risk Research: The Joint Declaration

The joint declaration indicates that more international partners are to be added to increase cooperative efforts in this area.

“We will keep looking at ways to work with our partners in the UK, Canada, and Germany in the AI for Development Donor Partnership to speed up and coordinate our foreign aid in Africa to help teachers, business owners, and regular people realize the potential of AI,” the EU and US state.
In the context of platforms, where the EU is implementing newly established, comprehensive rules such as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act, the opposing sides are in agreement that Big Tech should take “information integrity” protection seriously.

Because there are so many elections happening all across the world in 2024, the joint statement refers to it as “a Pivotal Year for Democratic Resilience.” The two parties “share the concern that malign use of AI applications, such as the creation of harmful ‘deepfakes,’ poses new risks, including to further the spread and targeting of foreign information manipulation and interference,” the statement reads, explicitly warning of the threats posed by AI-generated information.
The joint call for platforms to do more to support researchers’ access to data, particularly for the study of societal risks (which the EU’s DSA makes a legal requirement for larger platforms) is followed by a discussion of several areas of ongoing EU-US cooperation on platform governance.

“The next phase of this project will focus on identifying potential use cases for transatlantic interoperability and cooperation to enable the cross-border use of digital identities and wallets,” the statement adds about the ongoing standards work collaboration surrounding e-identity.
The statement also discusses cooperation in 6G, quantum, and sustainable energy.

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