NEW YORK CITY: Oliver Dowden, deputy prime minister of the UK, warned world leaders of the risks of the use of artificial intelligence during his speech at the general debate of the 78th UN General Assembly on Friday.
In his opening remarks, Dowden strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling it “the most heinous assault imaginable on everything this organization stands for and was founded to prevent,” and reiterating the UK’s support for Ukraine.
After confirming the UK’s commitment to confronting the challenges of climate change, reaching Sustainable Development Goals after COVID, and global migration and displacement, Dowden stressed the importance and world-changing potential of AI.
“It’s going to change everything we do. Education, business, health care, defense, the way we live. And it’s going to change government and relations between nations fundamentally. It is going to change this United Nations fundamentally,” he said.
“Our task as governments is to understand it, grasp it, and seek to govern it. And we must do so at speed … at this frontier, we need to accept that we simply don’t know the bounds of possibilities.”
Though Dowden listed the many benefits of the use of AI in various sectors, calling it “a tool that can and should be used by all,” he added that “any technology that can be used by all can also be used for ill.
“We have already seen the dangers that AI can pose: teens hacking individuals’ bank details. Terrorists targeting government systems. Cybercriminals duping voters with deepfakes and bots. Even states suppressing their peoples.”
Dowden called on the international community to come together to “agree to a shared understanding of those risks,” and warned that when it came to AI, companies and governments “will strive to push the boundaries as far and fast as possible.”
The minister said that the UK would host the Global AI Summit in November to address the potential risks posed by artificial intelligence.