S. Korea to establish AI safety institute this year: science minister

South Korea plans to establish an institute focused on studying safety issues associated with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as deepfakes and deep voices, the science minister said Wednesday. Science Minister Lee Jong-ho unveiled the plan during a press briefing to wrap up the two-day AI Seoul Summit co-hosted by South Korea and Britain. "Problems like deepfake are posing risks to our society ... We plan to open an AI safety institute within this year and there is a need to set it up as fast as possible," Lee said. On Tuesday, the summit adopted the so-called "Seoul Declaration" on promoting safe, innovative and inclusive AI to address challenges and opportunities associated with the fast-evolving technology. The declaration also read that the world leaders support efforts to create or expand AI safety institutes and will strive to promote cooperation on safety research and share best practices by nurturing networks between these organizations. Last year, the British government opened the world's first state-backed AI safety institute as a follow-up to the inaugural AI Safety Summit held in the country, where 28 countries and the European Union adopted the Bletchley Declaration, the first global guidelines on AI safety. "AI is not some natural phenomenon that is happening to us. But it is a product of human creation that we have the power to shape and direct," British Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, said, explaining the summit focused on discussing the concept of systemic safety regarding the AI technology. Lee also said the governments need to deliver a message that they will sternly respond and punish regulation violations involving AI, such as deepfakes. Earlier in the day, tech-related ministers from 28 countries and representatives from international organizations adopted a joint statement, called the Seoul Ministerial Statement, which calls for the advancement of the safety, innovation and inclusivity of AI technology. Also 14 companies, i ncluding Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Naver Corp., Kakao Corp. and KT Corp., as well as global big tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and IBM, announced the Seoul AI Business Pledge, vowing to responsibly develop and use AI. Source: Yonhap News Agency