UAE selected for Hiroshima AI Process Friends Group

Country is first in Arab world to join AI safety and security organisation

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
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The UAE has been selected to join 49 other countries to be part of the Hiroshima AI Process Friends Group, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, has said.

"In this momentous stride towards progress, the UAE shines as a symbol of innovation and collaboration. Embracing the boundless potential of technology and innovation," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"The UAE charts a path towards a future defined by excellence, advancement, and leadership on the world stage, fuelled by a vision that knows no bounds," he added, also noting that the UAE was the only Arab country and the only "regional country" to join the AI safety and security group.

Other countries in the group include the US, UK, Canada, India, Japan, South Korea and Spain.

Created last May during the 49th G7 Summit in Japan, the Hiroshima AI Process initiative was announced with hopes of providing a comprehensive framework to responsibly pursue AI advancements, while at the same time curtailing the potential problems posed by the fast-evolving technology.

According to a recently posted code of conduct provided by the Hiroshima AI Process Friends Group, organisations in the field of AI are encouraged to follow various actions throughout the course of AI development.

"In designing and implementing testing measures, organisations commit to devote attention to the following risks as appropriate," the code of conduct reads.

"Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks, such as the ways in which advanced AI systems can lower barriers to entry, including for non-state actors, for weapons development, design acquisition, or use ... Risks from [AI] models of making copies of themselves or 'self-replicating' or training other models."

The code of conduct, according to the group, will be updated periodically amid ongoing meetings and consultations with member countries and other organisations.

The international framework is one of several efforts under way on a global scale that seek to create standards and shed light on the potential dangers of AI.

In October, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted an AI Summit attended by various world leaders and experts, resulting in the Bletchley Declaration, which endorsed proposals for tackling potentially catastrophic harm, either deliberate or unintentional, from AI technology.

The UAE has in recent years sought to be a leader in AI development and regulatory frameworks.

In 2019, well before AI momentum began to build, the UAE opened the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, one of the first higher education institutions in the world to have a singular focus on AI.

Last year, several months after OpenAI's ChatGPT became the centre of the AI universe, the company's chief executive Sam Altman visited the UAE and spoke of his optimism that the Middle East and North Africa could play a central role in developing safe AI, while also noting the UAE “had been talking about AI since before it was cool”.

Mr Altman also spoke to Mr Al Olama during the 2024 World Governments Summit in Dubai, where he said the UAE would be "well-positioned to be a leader" in the discussions around AI safety measures and auditing.

Updated: May 07, 2024, 11:26 AM