US and EU commit to ties aimed at enhancing AI safety and risk research.

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The European Union and the United States issued a joint statement on Friday reaffirming their desire to increase cooperation on artificial intelligence — including in relation to AI safety and governance — as well as, more broadly, to cooperate on a number of other technologies. Talked about the intention. Issues, such as developing standards for digital identity and pressuring platforms to defend human rights.

As we reported on Wednesday, this is the outcome of the sixth (and possibly last) meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), a body that will deal with trade tensions that could be worsened by a Trump presidency starting in 2021. Meeting to rebuild Atlantic ties. .

Given the possibility of Donald Trump returning to the White House, with the US presidential election due later this year, it is unclear how much EU-US cooperation there will be in AI or any other strategic tech area. in fact happens in the coming years.

But, under the current political makeup across the Atlantic, the urge to push for closer alignment across a range of tech issues has strengthened. There is also a mutual desire to hear that message – hence today’s joint statement – which itself, perhaps, is also a broader appeal aimed at voters on each side as a co-operative rather than a destructive adversary come election time. Choose a program.

An AI dialog

In part of the AI-focused joint statement, filed under the title “Advancing Transatlantic Leadership on Critical and Emerging Technologies,” the pair write that they “reaffirm our commitment to a risk-based approach to artificial intelligence. do… and to advance safe, secure, and reliable AI technologies”.

“We encourage advanced AI developers in the United States and Europe to advance the application of the Hiroshima Process International Code of Conduct for organizations developing advanced AI systems to our respective governance and regulatory systems. complement,” the statement also said, referring to a set of risk-based recommendations that emerged from last year’s G7 discussions on AI.

A key development at the sixth TTC meeting appears to be a commitment by the EU and US AI watchdogs, the European AI Office and the US AI Safety Institute, to set up “a dialogue”. It aims to foster deeper collaboration between AI institutions, with a particular focus on encouraging the sharing of scientific knowledge between related AI research ecosystems.

Topics highlighted here include benchmarks, potential threats and future technological trends.

“This collaboration will help advance the implementation of a common roadmap on assessment and measurement tools for reliable AI and risk management, minimizing the appropriate divergence in our respective emerging AI governance and regulatory systems. “Necessary for mitigation, and necessary for mutual cooperation. And international standards,” both sides suggest.

The statement also flags an updated version of the list of key AI terms with “mutually agreed upon common definitions” as another result of ongoing stakeholder negotiations from the TTC.

Agreement on definitions will be an important piece of the puzzle to support work toward AI standardization.

A third element of the agreement on AI shoots for cooperation by the EU and the US to advance research aimed at applying machine learning technologies to beneficial use cases, such as health. Advancing care outcomes, promoting agriculture and addressing climate change, with particular focus on sustainable development. In a briefing with reporters earlier this week, a senior Commission official suggested that this element of the joint work would focus on bringing AI development to developing countries and the Global South.

“We are moving forward on the promise of AI for sustainable development in our bilateral relationship through joint research collaboration as part of the governance arrangement on artificial intelligence and computing to contribute to the global public good,” the joint statement said. to meet the challenges”. “Joint staff working groups from United States science agencies and European Commission departments and agencies have made significant progress, setting important milestones for deliverables in the areas of extreme weather, energy, emergency response, and reconstruction. We are also making constructive progress in health and agriculture.

In addition, an overview document on collaboration around AI for the public good was published on Friday. According to the document, multidisciplinary teams from the EU and the US have spent more than 100 hours in scientific meetings over the past half year “discussing how to advance the applications of AI in ongoing projects and workstreams”.

“The collaboration is making positive progress in a number of areas related to challenges such as energy efficiency, emergency response, urban reconstruction, and extreme weather and climate forecasting,” it continued, adding: “The coming months In, scientists and ecosystems EU and US plan to advance their cooperation and present cutting-edge research around the world. This will unlock the power of AI to tackle global challenges.

According to the joint statement, there is a desire to expand cooperation efforts in this area by involving more global partners.

“We will continue to explore opportunities with our partners in the UK, Canada and Germany in the AI ​​for Development Donor Partnership to accelerate and align our foreign aid in Africa to deliver the promise of AI to educators.” , businesses and ordinary citizens can be helped,” EU and US note.

On platforms, an area where the EU is implementing recently adopted, wide-ranging legislation — including the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act — both sides protect the “integrity of information” from big tech. are united for seriously

The joint statement called 2024 “a critical year for democratic resilience” due to the number of elections around the world. And it includes a clear warning about the dangers posed by AI-generated information, saying both parties “express concerns that the use of AI applications could lead to harmful ‘deepfakes’.” New threats such as creation, including further proliferation and targeting. manipulation and interception of foreign information.

The platform discusses a number of areas of ongoing EU-US cooperation on governance and includes a joint call for platforms to support researchers’ access to data – particularly those studying social risks. (legal requirements for major platforms).

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

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

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