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G-7 Hiroshima Summit ; ministers agree on 5 principles to govern AI Risks

G-7 Hiroshima Summit ; ministers agree on 5 principles to govern AI Risks

Diplomat Times (Tokyo)- Ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed Saturday on five principles for developing agile forms of governance for emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, in light of the rapid spread of AI chatbot use worldwide.

The digital and technology ministers, who began a two-day meeting in the Gunma Prefecture city of Takasaki, northwest of Tokyo, also agreed on the urgent need to promote debate on standards for the responsible use of AI.

The five principles of the rule of law, due process, democracy, respect for human rights and harnessing opportunities for innovation will be included in a joint communique to be released at the end of the meeting, which comes ahead of a G-7 summit next month in Hiroshima.

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“While advancement of AI technologies can make business of the government and the private sector more efficient and more productive, it could create unexpected challenges to democracy,” Japan’s Digital Minister Taro Kono said at the opening session.

The fast-moving pace of AI development has highlighted the need for international standards to govern the technology, with many countries stepping up regulations on the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT over privacy concerns.

But Japan’s emphasis on generative AI’s potential utility means the government has so far taken a more cautious stance toward regulation than Europe and the United States.

Last month, Italy imposed a temporary ban on the use of ChatGPT, citing concerns over unauthorized collection of personal data, but authorities have since lifted the ban.

In addition to opposing uses that would undermine democratic values, the G-7 ministers are aiming to adopt an action plan to promote the responsible use of AI, calling for broad stakeholder participation in developing international standards.

Digital ministers are additionally aiming to establish an international framework for Data Free Flow with Trust, a concept proposed by Japan at the World Economic Forum annual summit in 2019 to facilitate economic growth on a global scale through free data flows across borders with trusted, interoperable governance.

While Japan has already signed bilateral agreements in digital trade with the European Union, United States and Britain, the DFFT framework seeks to take this to the multilateral level.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the ministers are also expected to adopt a separate action plan for internet governance, addressing issues such as fake news and other forms of disinformation seen, for example, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The unjustified war of aggression by Russia in Ukraine has resulted in both online and offline attacks on digital infrastructure, reminding us once again of the importance of resilient digital infrastructure and a free and open internet,” Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said.

The ministers also discussed constructing secure network infrastructure to support emerging and developing countries and promoting collaboration to improve the connectivity of undersea cables.

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Digital and technology ministers from the Group of Seven industrial countries attend the first day of a two-day meeting in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, on April 29, 2023. Photo : Kyodo

On the fringes of the meeting, Matsumoto and Germany’s Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, Volker Wissing, signed a memorandum of cooperation detailing their plans to continue working together in information and communication technology policy, including digital infrastructure beyond 5G.

The two countries have been conducting high-level dialogue in the digital arena since 2016 with the aim of stimulating innovation in the economy and promoting a secure framework for global digital governance.

The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union. Japan holds the rotating G-7 presidency for the first time since 2016.

This year’s meeting is jointly chaired by Kono, Matsumoto, and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

Ministers from India and Indonesia, this year’s respective hosts of meetings of the Group of 20 major economies and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as Ukraine, have been invited to the meeting.

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the KYODO NEWS Diplomat Times holds no responsibility for its content.

(Reporting by Donican Lam in Tokyo and Kwang Ho in South Korea; Editing by  Shasi Kumar)