Nigeria has joined 28 other countries of the world to sign the Bletchley Declaration, the world’s first agreement establishing a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks posed by frontier AI and the need for governments to work together to meet the most significant challenges.
In an agreement signed on November 1, the 29 countries including the US, UK, China, Australia, Brazil, India and the European Union, have mutually agreed that while AI has the potential to transform and enhance human well-being, peace and prosperity, it also poses significant risks, including in those domains of daily life.
The agreement was signed at Bletchley Park in the UK as leading AI nations convened for the first time at the AI Summit to address concerns around the technology.
Nigeria is represented at the ongoing Summit by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani.
Speaking at the event, Dr Tijani expressed the desire of Nigeria to explore and use AI for the good of humanity.
“As a nation of innovators and entrepreneurs, Nigeria must recognise the significance of Artificial Intelligence and the urgent need to explore and use it for the good of humanity. I would also like to thank the UK Government for inviting us to be part of the UK AI for Development Programme which will support our efforts to improve AI research and inclusive datasets.
This partnership is a recognition of our commitment to the growth of AI in Nigeria as outlined in our Strategic Blueprint and evidenced by our initial launch of the National AI Research Scheme” he stated.
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The signees, 28 countries from across the globe including in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as the EU, agreed to the urgent need to understand and collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort to ensure AI is developed and deployed in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of the global community.
The Declaration fulfils key summit objectives in establishing shared agreement and responsibility on the risks, opportunities, and a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research, particularly through greater scientific collaboration.
According to a statement released on Thursday by the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the countries agreed that substantial risks may arise from potential intentional misuse or unintended issues of control of frontier AI, with particular concern caused by cybersecurity, biotechnology, and misinformation risks.
“The Declaration sets out an agreement that there is “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.” Countries also noted the risks beyond frontier AI, including bias and privacy.
“Recognising the need to deepen the understanding of risks and capabilities that are not fully understood, attendees have also agreed to work together to support a network of scientific research on Frontier AI safety. This builds on the UK Prime Minister’s announcement last week for the UK to establish the world’s first AI Safety Institute and complements existing international efforts including at the G7, OECD, Council of Europe, United Nations and the Global Partnership on AI.
“This will ensure the best available scientific research can be used to create an evidence base for managing the risks whilst unlocking the benefits of the technology, including through the UK’s AI Safety Institute which will look at the range of risks posed by AI,” the statement read.
“This is a landmark achievement that sees the world’s greatest AI powers agree on the urgency behind understanding the risks of AI – helping ensure the long-term future of our children and grandchildren. “Under the UK’s leadership, more than twenty-five countries at the AI Safety Summit have stated a shared responsibility to address AI risks and take forward vital international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research.
“The UK is once again leading the world at the forefront of this new technological frontier by kickstarting this conversation, which will see us work together to make AI safe and realise all its benefits for generations to come” UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.