AI safety, inclusion and innovation must progress together: PM Wong

SINGAPORE – Prime Minister Lawrence Wong emphasized the need for security, inclusion and innovation to advance together within artificial intelligence, and called on countries to work together to harness the emerging technology as a force for good.

Wong spoke on Tuesday (May 21) at a virtual AI Summit leaders’ meeting in Seoul, co-hosted by South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The event aims to build on the commitment to AI safety at the AI ​​Safety Summit held last November in the UK, but also expands the scope to cover other aspects of the global AI governance framework.

The key is to harness the benefits of AI and reduce its harms and dangers at the same time, Wong said, making three suggestions.

The first is to regulate AI without stifling potential innovation.

Calling for sensible regulatory parameters, he said: “Broadly classifying all generative AI as ‘high risk’, or regulating AI systems with the proviso that they must not cause any harm, may be too restrictive and will inevitably lead to less innovation.” .

He said Singapore is trying to strike a balance with laws to protect personal data and address specific online criminal acts where AI could be used.

Additionally, the country has developed a set of security testing tools called AI Verify, which it said will continue to be improved through collaboration with the open source community.

It is also vital to monitor how AI is used over time and adapt and update regulatory approaches where necessary.

Using the example of AI in finance, such as in risk management and fraud detection, he said AI models will not always be perfect. Still, financial regulators understand these risks and can address them.

However, AI can also be used in areas where the risks are much higher and where there can be catastrophic results if something goes wrong.

“These include AI integrated into military weapons systems, as well as the development of fully autonomous AI models, which operate on their own without human intervention.

“You can imagine scenarios where AI goes rogue or rivalry between countries leads to unintended consequences,” he said.

That is why the world needs to carefully consider the standards and safety measures necessary to ensure that technology is used safely and responsibly, he added.