US and EU to draft an AI code of conduct

Every international summit seems to touch upon questions of AI Governance. This is due, in part, to the fast evolution of technologies like LLMs (Large Language Models), Generative AI, and various interventions by AI experts warning about the risks of the technology. As global discussions on AI governance gain momentum, one of the key initiatives being pursued is the Hiroshima AI process, which aims to establish comprehensive guidelines and frameworks for responsible AI development and deployment. The G7 leaders have committed to producing the Hiroshima AI process by the end of the year, underscoring the importance of addressing AI governance on an international scale. 

Following the G7 summit, both the European Union and the United States have been actively advancing their efforts in this domain, with a particular focus on establishing international standards rather than relying solely on legislation, which can be challenging to achieve among a diverse set of countries. 

During a recent trade conference between the European Union and the US, the EU committed to drafting a code of conduct on Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with their North American counterparts. The intention is to involve other countries in the process and seek their endorsement of the code. Notably, the AI standards outlined in this code will be voluntary and non-legally binding. The EU has set an ambitious timeline for drafting the code, aiming to complete it within weeks. 

Discussions on AI governance have gained prominence at various high-level meetings. For instance, the US-EU Trade & Tech Council (TTC) recently featured a session on AI, which included notable participants such as Dario Amodei, CEO of Anthropic, and Brad Smith, President of Microsoft. Margrethe Vestager, who heads the EU's competition and digital strategy policy, also participated in this session. The involvement of key industry leaders and policymakers underscores the increasing importance placed on AI governance. 

Within the US-EU Trade & Tech Council, the need for an immediate code of practice was emphasized to ensure that AI aligns with democratic values, particularly in the face of global geopolitical uncertainties. Margrethe Vestager highlighted the urgency of the matter, presenting it as an opportunity for the EU to take a leadership role in establishing international AI standards. It is worth noting that the EU is currently in the process of enacting the EU AI Act, a piece of legislation that is progressing through Parliament. Additionally, Vestager mentioned the importance of industry input and welcomed their participation. 

During a call between Margrethe Vestager and Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, potential inclusions in the voluntary code of conduct were discussed. These included addressing issues related to misinformation, transparency, user awareness when interacting with AI, verification processes such as red teaming and external audits, establishment of monitoring and feedback loops, and ensuring compliance without creating barriers for startups and SMEs.  

The official U.S.-EU Joint Statement of the Trade and Technology Council can be found here. At techUK, we will continue to monitor the latest developments in the field of AI governance. If you are interested in getting involved in techUK's AI work, we encourage you to sign up for updates and opportunities. 

For techUK members, join the first meeting of our generative AI working group on June 20

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