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AI Summit London: “Companies are Hungry for the Benefits of AI but they Don’t Want the Risks”

Last Updated June 14, 2024 9:12 AM
Samantha Dunn
Last Updated June 14, 2024 9:12 AM
Key Takeaways
  • The AI Summit London hosted a key panel discussion on the importance of governance in the deployment of AI.
  • The panel emphasized the need for cohesive global standards to guide ethical AI deployment.
  • Panelists brought up the challenge of attracting top AI talent in both the public and private sectors.

The AI Summit London 2024 brought industry leaders and government officials for a panel discussion on the ethical and responsible deployment of artificial intelligence.

Led by Melvin Lopez Corleone, Data Discovery and Research Lead at FCAA IQ, the panelists included representatives from the UK Cabinet Ofice, the Web3 industry, and nonprofits. The panelists approached the challenges and opportunities of ethical AI, emphasizing the importance of governance and talent sourcing.

The Need for Cohesive AI Regulation

Ravinder Singh, Head of the Digital and Systems Team at the UK Cabinet Office, commented on the need for cohesive guidelines when regulating AI.

“Policymakers should come up with a proposal – one standard we have to follow” Singh asserted, with other panelists emphasizing the necessity for guidelines that AI companies can adhere to.

AI Summit London
Photo credit: Samantha Dunn CCN

Singh also outlined the UK’s initiatives like ‘Ask AI’, a private language model aimed at fostering public interaction with AI technologies, hinting at but not confirming the possible public rollout of this technology.

Highlighting the duality of AI adoption, Ross MacKay, COO of Casper Labs, noted, “companies are hungry for the benefits of AI but they don’t the risks.” Emphasizing the importance of transparency, he stated, “We are trying to increase that trust in AI so companies can move forward with confidence.”

MacKay pointed out that the fragmented regulatory environment in the US, with its state-by-state regulations, presents obvious challenges. MacKay advocated for global standards, emphasizing that clear and actionable regulations are essential for businesses to operate confidently. “These standards matter because they are actionable – we need more guidance from regulators and the standards bodies themselves,” he said.

AI Talent Gap

One of the key themes from the panel was the persistent challenge of attracting and retaining top talent in the public sector, especially given the financial incentives for top AI talent to work for private companies.

Magdalena Konig, a representative from ADNOC Legal, shared that the UAE, under the guidance of its AI minister, has made substantial investments to attract AI talent and foster innovation. This includes financial incentives and a strategic vision that sets the UAE apart from regions like the EU, where regulation is perceived as more rigid.

Given the competitive salaries that AI engineers can command, sometimes reaching up to a million dollars per year, MacKay nonetheless noted a shift in priorities among the new generation of talent, who are increasingly motivated by a sense of purpose rather than just financial incentives.

MacKay argued that young talent is looking to make an impact on generative AI systems across the UK, stating, “When you’re thinking of impact, the deployment of generative AI systems across the UK is immeasurable.”

Addressing Disinformation and Privacy

The COO of Casper Labs emphasized the unpredictability of AI and the necessity for transparency. He shared insights on how his company helps enterprises manage AI risks, advocating for global standards to streamline regulatory compliance.

Usha Jagannathan, Director for AI Products at IEEE, echoed this sentiment, stressing that while bias in AI cannot be entirely eliminated, companies must strive for continuous improvement and alignment with both regional and global laws.

Concerning the increasing use of deepfakes in political campaigns during the panel, Konig emphasized the impact of these falsified videos, citing the Indonesian elections as a prime example of how quickly misinformation can spread.

“The use and frequency of deepfakes in political campaigns is concerning,” Konig remarked. The rapid transmission of such disinformation has fundamentally altered how the public receives and processes information.”

Konig advocated for the implementation of AI watermarks to combat this issue, arguing that identifiable markers could help verify the authenticity of digital content. Konig also highlighted the proactive stance of the UAE’s AI ministry, which operates under voluntary standards but is gradually moving towards more robust regulatory guardrails.

Comparing global approaches, Konig noted the disparity in regulatory frameworks, with the EU’s early and stringent measures contrasting with the UAE’s more flexible strategy. Konig expressed hope for the ‘Brussels effect’ to influence global AI regulations, pushing for cohesive and effective standards worldwide.

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