Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) welcomes US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) at Downing Street in London, Britain, 01 November 2023. EFE-EPA/NEIL HALL

British PM Sunak warns AI risks on par with pandemics, nuclear war

Bletchley Park, UK, Nov 2 (EFE).- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned on Thursday that the risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI) might be as severe as those of a pandemic or a nuclear war.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for the second day of the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Britain, 02 November 2023. EFE-EPA/TOLGA AKMEN / POOL

Speaking on the margins of the AI security summit hosted by the United Kingdom at Bletchley Park, Sunak said that those who were at the forefront of developing AI technology had expressed concerns about the potential risks it posed.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for the second day of the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Britain, 02 November 2023. EFE-EPA/TOLGA AKMEN / POOL

“People developing this technology themselves have raised the risk that AI may pose,” Sunka said as leaders arrived for the second day of the two-day global AI safety summit.

He emphasized the ongoing debate in the industry and the lack of consensus on the issue.

Bletchley Park, located in central England, is renowned for deciphering secret Nazi messages during the Second World War.

The summit has gathered world leaders at Bletchley Park to discuss how to regulate the industry.

It is being attended by representatives from 28 countries, the European Union, and major industry players such as OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Anthropic, Meta, and Microsoft.

While Sunak cautioned against alarmism, he acknowledged the arguments that suggest AI risks could be on a scale similar to pandemics or nuclear war.

“It is important to not be alarmist about this. There is debate about this topic. People in the industry themselves do not agree and we cannot be certain,” he said.

“But there is a case to believe that it may pose a risk on a scale like pandemics and nuclear war, and that is why, as leaders, we have a responsibility to act to take the steps to protect people, and that is exactly what we are doing.”

He stressed the responsibility of leaders to take necessary steps to protect people.

At the summit, Sunak would preside over two closed-door panels.

The first panel, at the political level, focuses on international collaboration in addressing AI-related dangers over the next five years.

The second panel, featuring industry representatives, would discuss short-term measures for ensuring security during new intelligent model development.

Notable political leaders, including United States Vice President Kamala Harris and President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, attended the summit.

British Secretary of State for Science and Innovation Michelle Donelan claimed the summit was a success, even as some notable world leaders were not participating.

Donelan highlighted the presence of a Chinese minister at the summit, underlining the commitment demonstrated by the participation of representatives from the US, the European Union, and China.

On the first day of the summit, government representatives warned on Wednesday that artificial intelligence has potentially “catastrophic” consequences for humanity.

The US, China, India, and European Union members, such as France, Germany, and Spain, were among the 29 signatories of a joint declaration that stressed that it was “especially urgent” to analyze the dangers posed by the technology.

They agreed on early preventive measures to curb its growing influence. EFE