What Made the World’s First #AISafetySummit More Than Just About Safety?

Dan #FutureOfWork Sodergren
8 min readNov 3, 2023

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I am a self-confessed AI enthusiast (some say now an AI expert) as the technology has been a part of me talking about the future of work for over a decade. So I don’t know if you watched the much anticipated X-streamed event of the UK Prime Minister and Elon Musk at the end of the AI Safety Summit. I know I certainly did.

And was asked to talk about on national radio a few times and guess what they would discuss. To a large extent I got it right… But not all of it.

It was truly interesting to note how these men thought about AI. And how positive they were about most of the advances so far. And the potential for society and the future of work. From what we can see at the AI Teacher Course and the AI Marketing Course, AI and LLM as technologies are amazing at certain things. For example, AI is going to be great at helping students get personalized and adaptive learning experiences, allowing them to grasp difficult concepts more effectively and at their own pace. This AI technology has the potential to democratise education and provide equal opportunities for all learners. But it’s not just this…

From simplifying government services to enhancing customer support and revolutionizing education, the everyday effects of AI are already transforming the way we live and interact. As this technology continues to evolve and improve, we can expect even greater advancements and widespread integration of AI into various aspects of our lives.

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on our society. Many experts, including Elon Musk, have expressed concerns about the safety implications of advanced AI technologies. Musk, who has been advocating for AI safety for over a decade, warns that if we don’t take the necessary precautions, we could be playing with fire. He believes that we need to be more thoughtful and careful in our approach to AI development.

He is also — it’s worth noting creating his own version of AI which seems to have used the PR from the UK government to then launch. But back to the AI Safety Summit.

The Need for Government Regulation

During the AI Safety Summit, there was a significant development in the conversation around AI regulation. It was agreed upon that governments should ideally conduct safety testing of AI models before they are released. This is a crucial step in ensuring that these advanced technologies do not pose a threat to society. The goal is to mitigate potential risks and protect the public from any harmful consequences that may arise from the use of AI. Governments around the world, like ours in the UK, have a responsibility to develop the necessary capabilities to test and assess AI models before they are unleashed into the world. This proactive approach will help us stay ahead of any potential risks and ensure that AI technology is implemented in a safe and responsible manner.

So it was very important to have nations like China there.As the AI field progresses rapidly, it’s crucial for major countries to come together and prioritize safety. Currently, the leading centres for AI development are in the San Francisco Bay Area and London. However, China is rapidly catching up and should not be left out of the conversation on AI safety. Despite criticism, inviting China to a summit was a necessary decision. When I visited China many years ago it was clear how far ahead they were with their AI work and applications.

Their participation in the summit and willingness to sign the same communique as other countries is a positive step towards addressing AI safety globally. And so it is truly amazing that 28 different states have now signed the new declaration.

I have a deeper feeling from a marketing POV they could have taken a slightly less scary looking photo…

But maybe this is just the way things are done.

But the way things are done is important.

The Role of Government in Regulating Artificial Intelligence

When it comes to the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI), many people have concerns about potential risks and the role of government in ensuring public safety. In a recent discussion, Elon Musk, well-known technologist and founder of companies like SpaceX and Tesla, shared his thoughts on the matter. Musk acknowledges that not all software poses a risk to public safety, but when it comes to digital super intelligence, he believes there is a need for government regulation.

Musk draws parallels between AI and other industries that require regulatory oversight, such as aviation and cars. He believes that having a referee, or government regulation, is necessary to ensure sportsman-like conduct and prioritise public safety. While some in Silicon Valley may view regulations as a hindrance to innovation, Musk argues that it is important to have someone independent overseeing the development and use of AI. Technology may have the potential to do immense good, but it is not without its risks. By having regulations in place, we can mitigate these risks and ensure a safer future.

One challenge that arises is whether governments can keep up with the rapid pace of AI development. Musk recognizes that the speed at which AI is advancing is unprecedented, and government institutions are not accustomed to moving at such rapid speed. However, he believes that even if there are no firm regulations or enforcement capabilities, government insights and the ability to raise concerns to the public can still be very powerful. By quickly building up expertise and personnel within the government, we can work towards a safer AI future.

While there may be concerns about government regulation inhibiting innovation, Elon Musk emphasises the importance of having a referee, or government oversight, in the development and use of AI. By prioritising public safety and mitigating risks, we can harness the transformative potential of AI while avoiding potential harm. Although governments may need to catch up with the fast pace of AI development, even having the ability to raise concerns to the public can be instrumental in ensuring a safer AI future.

Open Source vs. Closed Source Algorithms

Another area of debate within the AI community is the use of open source algorithms. Open source algorithms and data tend to lag behind closed source ones by 6 to 12 months. However, given the rapid rate of improvement, this time difference becomes significant. While it may be acceptable now, as AI approaches or even surpasses human level intelligence, the difference between open and closed source algorithms becomes crucial.

The challenge lies in finding a balance between the benefits of innovation through open source and the risks of bad actors misusing these models. Although open source allows transparency, closed source algorithms might keep important details hidden. Regardless, some level of open source AI seems inevitable, and it will be important for us to closely monitor and regulate this aspect to ensure the safety and responsible use of AI technology.

But as a keynote speaker about the future of work and technology for me the most interesting and important things about AI. Are not the security issues with it. A little bit like how I don’t worry about how terrorists might use the internet. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s because I trust our governments and others to make sure that we are safe. However, when it comes to jobs. I do have a few concerns. As did Elon Musk, as he chatted to Rishi Sunak. AI is without a doubt the most disruptive force in history. Right now with the AI Marketing Course we are seeing people with no background in marketing becoming very good marketers. And we are seeing people with marketing backgrounds

“Using AI tools to become 400% more productive. It’s insane.” (Dan Sodergren 2023)

This is the Fifth Industrial Revolution. Are we ready?

As I have talked about many times, This is the 5th industrial revolution. Where governments, leaders and even education must change to keep up. Which is why we launched the AI Teacher Course too. As we are entering a time where AI, Mr Musk believes, will have something that is smarter than the smartest human.

As a tech futurist, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment, but there will come a time when no job will be necessary. Sure, people can still have jobs for personal satisfaction, but AI will be capable of doing everything. And this is where governments must come in.

As Elon joked in a room full of people with businesses that make money from people working. This new paradigm shift can either make people comfortable or uncomfortable. It’s like having a magical genie at your disposal, granting you unlimited wishes. It’s both good and bad, and finding meaning in life will become a challenge in the future.

Which ties in rather nicely to my TedxTalk

The future of work is not what you think.

It’s what you LOVE.

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Dan #FutureOfWork Sodergren

#PublicSpeaker #TedxTalk #KeynoteSpeaker talks on the #FutureOfWork #Tech and #AI. Expert / guest on national TV / Radio and podcasts. Co-founder of YourFLOCK