AI Safety: What you need to know about Frontier Model Forum

Juli 29, 2023 4 mins to read

Microsoft (working on 365 Copilot), Anthropic (developer of Claude 2), Google (Bard), and OpenAI (ChatGPT) have founded the Frontier Model Forum. This body has a clear focus: the safe and responsible development of AI. It’s a strong signal. Competitors are working together to set common standards in AI.

The forum has big goals. It wants to advance AI security research. It wants to identify best practices. It wants to share knowledge with decision-makers, academics, and civil society. And it wants to use AI to tackle society’s biggest challenges. An advisory board is supposed to lead the forum. Other organizations are invited to collaborate.

This step is important. It shows that the AI industry recognizes its responsibility. The biggest players are ready to work together. They want to ensure safety and responsibility in AI.

Despite the clear Prisoner’s Dilemma, in which the pause of AI development failed spectacularly in early 2023, four of the leading AI companies are now sitting at one table. That’s good.

But is that enough? The founding members of the forum are leading in AI. But can they shape the entire AI industry safely and responsibly?

Here governments and other companies come into play. They must co-design the framework conditions for AI development. They must ensure that AI is developed and used safely and responsibly.

Imagine AI as a powerful river. Without dams and guardrails, it can overflow its banks and cause damage. The Frontier Model Forum is building these dams and guardrails. It’s an important step, but not the only one. Governments, companies, and civil society must work together. Only in this way can AI development be safe, responsible, and for the benefit of all.

Why is the Frontier Model Forum necessary?

Imagine if every country set its own rules for road traffic. That would be chaos. It’s similar with AI. Without uniform, global framework conditions, there can be problems. The Frontier Model Forum wants to prevent this chaos. It wants to ensure that AI is developed safely and responsibly. And it wants to prevent AI from being developed without safety mechanisms. Because that could have serious effects on the world.

Artificial intelligence is like a powerful tool. In the right hands, it can work wonders. It can help us fight diseases, combat climate change, and master many other challenges. But in the wrong hands or without appropriate safety precautions, it can also cause damage. It can lead to unwanted side effects, such as discrimination, violation of privacy, or even threats to physical safety.

The Frontier Model Forum is an attempt to minimize these risks. It’s an attempt to steer the development of AI in orderly paths. It’s an attempt to ensure that we can use the benefits of AI without exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks.

But the forum can’t handle this task alone. It needs the support of governments and other companies. It needs clear rules and regulations. It needs a broad societal debate about the role of AI in our society.

Imagine you’re building a house. You wouldn’t just hire an architect, but also a structural engineer, an electrician, and many other professionals. Each of them has an important role to play to ensure that the house is safe and habitable. It’s similar with AI. We need many different actors working together to ensure that AI is developed and used safely and responsibly.

We, as users of AI, are also called upon. The easy choice to now hand over responsibility to the Frontier Model Forum is clearly the wrong way.

The Frontier Model Forum is an important step in this direction. But it’s just the beginning. It’s time for all of us – governments, companies, civil society – to recognize our role in this process and become active. Only in this way can we ensure that AI becomes a blessing and not a curse for humanity.

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