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The Internet eats their Young

London (20/5 – 20)

One academic was asked about the internet eating their young. This triggered a heated debate about the use of the internet the freedom in presents, the dangers of unfettered go for it all to the public, the rise of the left, the response by the right, and AI, or Artificial Intelligence. 

The seriousness of the debate can be seen at the UK sponsored conference on AI at Bletchley Park. Following this was the adaptation of the European law on Artificial Intelligence. 28 countries at the summit, including the United States, China, and the European Union, have issued an agreement known as the Bletchley Declaration, calling for international co-operation to manage the challenges and risks of artificial intelligence. Emphasis has been placed on regulating “Frontier AI”, a term for the latest and most powerful AI systems. Concerns that have been raised at the summit include the potential use of AI for terrorism, criminal activity, and warfare, as well as existential risk posed to humanity as a whole.

Having such a platform between the world’s two largest players in AI will be increasingly important as global efforts to regulate AI and manage the associated risks gather momentum. Earlier this year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on AI without a vote, capping off a period that saw several global summits being held on issues related to AI, such as the Responsible AI in the Military Domain (REAIM) summit at The Hague and the AI Safety summit at Bletchley Park in the United Kingdom.

While these circumstances should not be surprising, the question remains: what can be meaningfully achieved in terms of global governance and arms control for AI? Platforms such as the REAIM summit and AI Safety summit have featured norm-building efforts such as a call to action and declaration, respectively, while the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) discussing the regulation of LAWS at the UN adopted 11 guiding principles in 2019.

Nevertheless, the overall temperature of relations will continue to play a part in how effective subsequent bilateral talks on AI will be. Managing both related and unrelated derailers will be important, especially since it is impossible to fully compartmentalise dialogue on specific issues like AI from the broader state of bilateral relations.Some of the questions ringing loud include the systemic failures of Israel’s intelligence community and its sophisticated early warning systems to detect Hamas’ operational plans in advance, Israel’s prolonged political fragmentation and internal protests that undermined military readiness, and why the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) units deployed in the “Gaza Envelope” were overran.

By William Schrodinger