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World is ill-prepared for breakthroughs in AI, say experts

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Governments have made insufficient regulatory progress, ‘godfathers’ of the technology say before summit
The world is ill-prepared for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, according to a group of senior experts including two “godfathers” of AI, who warn that governments have made insufficient progress in regulating the technology.
A shift by tech companies to autonomous systems could “massively amplify” AI’s impact and governments need safety regimes that trigger regulatory action if products reach certain levels of ability, said the group.
The recommendations are made by 25 experts including Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, two of the three “godfathers of AI” who have won the ACM Turing award – the computer science equivalent of the Nobel prize – for their work.
The intervention comes as politicians, experts and tech executives prepare to meet at a two-day summit in Seoul on Tuesday.
The academic paper, called “managing extreme AI risks amid rapid progress”, recommends government safety frameworks that introduce tougher requirements if the technology advances rapidly.
It also calls for increased funding for newly established bodies such as the UK and US AI safety institutes; forcing tech firms to carry out more rigorous risk-checking; and restricting the use of autonomous AI systems in key societal roles.
“Society’s response, despite promising first steps, is incommensurate with the possibility of rapid, transformative progress that is expected by many experts,” according to the paper, published in the Science journal on Monday. “AI safety research is lagging. Present governance initiatives lack the mechanisms and institutions to prevent misuse and recklessness, and barely address autonomous systems.”
A global AI safety summit at Bletchley Park in the UK last year brokered a voluntary testing agreement with tech firms including Google, Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, while the EU has brought in an AI act and in the US a White House executive order has set new AI safety requirements.
The paper says advanced AI systems – technology that carries out tasks typically associated with intelligent beings – could help cure disease and raise living standards but also carry the threat of eroding social stability and enabling automated warfare. It warns, however, that the tech industry’s move towards developing autonomous systems poses an even greater threat.
“Companies are shifting their focus to developing generalist AI systems that can autonomously act and pursue goals. Increases in capabilities and autonomy may soon massively amplify AI’s impact, with risks that include large-scale social harms, malicious uses, and an irreversible loss of human control over autonomous AI systems,” the experts said, adding that unchecked AI advancement could lead to the “marginalisation or extinction of humanity”.
The next stage in development for commercial AI is “agentic” AI, the term for systems that can act autonomously and, theoretically, carry out and complete tasks such as booking holidays.
Last week, two tech firms gave a glimpse of that future with OpenAI’s GPT-4o, which can carry out real-time voice conversations, and Google’s Project Astra, which was able to use a smartphone camera to identify locations, read and explain computer code and create alliterative sentences.
Other co-authors of the proposals include the bestselling author of Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari, the late Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in economics, Sheila McIlraith, a professor in AI at the University of Toronto, and Dawn Song, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The paper published on Monday is a peer-reviewed update of initial proposals produced before the Bletchley meeting.
A UK government spokesperson said: “We disagree with this assessment. The AI Seoul summit this week will play an important role in advancing the legacy of the Bletchley Park summit and will see a number of companies update world leaders on how they are fulfilling the commitments made at Bletchley to ensure the safety of their models.”
Source: theguardian.com
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EU’s new AI rules: Industry opposed to revealing guarded trade secrets

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New regulations in the European Union (EU) are set to compel companies to increase transparency regarding the data they use to train artificial intelligence (AI) systems, potentially unveiling closely guarded industry practices, reports the Times of India.
Since OpenAI, supported by Microsoft, introduced ChatGPT to the public 18 months ago, there has been a surge in public interest and investment in generative AI. This technology enables rapid generation of text, images, and audio content.
As the AI industry expands, concerns have emerged regarding how companies source data for training their models, particularly whether using content from popular books and movies without creators’ consent constitutes a breach of copyright.
The EU’s new AI Act, phased in over the next two years, mandates stricter regulations while allowing time for businesses to adjust to new requirements. Nevertheless, the practical implementation of these rules remains uncertain, notes the report.
Mandating “detailed summaries”
A contentious provision of the AI Act requires organizations deploying general-purpose AI models like ChatGPT to provide “detailed summaries” of the training data. The newly established AI Office plans to release a template for these summaries by early 2025 after consulting stakeholders. However, AI companies oppose disclosing their training data, arguing it as a trade secret that could unfairly benefit competitors if made public, the report reveals.
In the past year, major tech firms including Google, OpenAI, and Stability AI have faced lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of content for AI training. Despite US President Joe Biden’s executive orders addressing AI security risks, legal challenges regarding copyright remain largely untested, the report adds.
Backlash against OpenAI
Amid heightened scrutiny, tech companies have struck content-licensing deals with media outlets and websites. OpenAI, for instance, has partnered with the Financial Times and The Atlantic, while Google has collaborated with NewsCorp and Reddit.
Despite these efforts, OpenAI drew criticism in March when Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati declined to confirm whether YouTube videos were used to train its video-generating tool, Sora, citing potential violations of company terms and conditions.
Source: business-standard.com
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Picsart teams up with Getty to take on Adobe’s ‘commercially-safe’ AI

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Picsart and Getty Images are joining forces to develop an AI image generator exclusively trained on Getty’s licensed stock content.
According to Picsart, their AI lab is constructing a bespoke model from the ground up to power this tool. It aims to provide the platform’s paying subscribers with the ability to generate images that come with full commercial rights. This initiative seeks to address persistent concerns about potential copyright violations associated with AI-generated content. The Picsart / Getty Images generator is slated for launch later this year and will be accessible through Picsart’s API services.
This collaboration bears similarities to Adobe’s Firefly AI model, initially introduced as a prompt-based image generation tool within Photoshop last year. Adobe has since expanded its integration across various Creative Cloud applications. Adobe’s model also emphasizes commercial safety by training on stock images from Adobe’s own library, along with openly licensed or out-of-copyright content. However, questions remain about the integrity of the training data and user trust in Adobe’s approach.
Getty Images has previously ventured into commercially-focused AI products through partnerships with Bria AI and Runway, and by teaming up with Nvidia to introduce “Generative AI by Getty Images,” leveraging its extensive catalog of licensed images. Adobe’s widespread integration of the Firefly model into popular applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and Express may pose a challenge for Picsart’s new offering in terms of attracting creatives away from Adobe’s established ecosystem.
Source: theverge.com
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Microsoft to delay release of Recall AI feature on security concerns

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On June 13, Microsoft announced that it will postpone the rollout of its AI-powered feature “Recall” with new computers next week due to privacy concerns. Instead, the tech giant plans to offer Recall for preview to a smaller group later, following feedback and additional testing.
Recall is designed to track various activities from web browsing to voice chats, compiling a searchable history stored on the user’s computer. This allows users to easily retrieve past actions, even months later.
Originally slated for broad availability on June 18 for Copilot+ PC users, Recall will now undergo a preview phase exclusively within Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks. This decision, as stated in a blog post by the Redmond, Washington-based company, underscores their commitment to ensuring a trusted, secure, and reliable experience for all customers.
Copilot+ PCs, introduced in May, feature advanced AI capabilities aimed at enhancing user interactions and productivity. The WIP, a platform for software testing, enables enthusiasts to preview upcoming Windows operating system features.
Microsoft intends to incorporate feedback from the WIP community before extending the Recall preview to all Copilot+ PC users in the near future.
Following the feature’s announcement, concerns over privacy were swiftly voiced on social media, with some users fearing potential surveillance implications. Elon Musk, prominent technologist and billionaire, likened Recall to a scenario from the dystopian series “Black Mirror,” highlighting societal apprehensions about the impact of advanced technologies.
Source: reuters.com

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