HIROSHIMA, Japan -- The leaders of the world's largest economies Saturday called for international standards for rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, making clear that the push was a priority but failing to come to any significant conclusions about how to handle the emerging technology.
The use of artificial intelligence -- such as chatbots and self-driving cars -- has become increasingly prevalent, forcing policymakers and business leaders around the world to grapple with how to support innovation while also putting in guardrails to reduce their potential harm, including privacy attacks, civil rights violations, disinformation and the unethical use of data.
In their joint statement Saturday, leaders of the world's richest democracies gathered for the Group of Seven summit, acknowledged that despite the rapid growth of AI and immersive technologies such as metaverses, international rules governing their use and compliance have "not necessarily kept pace."
They said while such new technologies bring opportunities to promote sustainability and innovation in various industries, their challenges must be considered alongside the benefits.
New technologies should be governed in line with democratic values, they wrote -- including fairness, accountability, transparency, protection from online abuse, and respect for privacy and human rights.
Specifically, the G7 leaders called out the use of generative AI, or the production of text, images and other content that resembles human-created work. The popularization of ChatGPT has raised concerns about the ability of generative AI to create humanlike responses and train itself to improve its accuracy.
As democracies around the world face deepening polarization and misinformation, some experts warn that generative AI may exacerbate political division through machine-generated content and make it difficult for people to judge which information is trustworthy or factual.
"We recognize the need to immediately take stock of the opportunities and challenges of generative AI, which is increasingly prominent across countries and sectors," the leaders wrote in the summit's communique.
The leaders also called for technical standards to develop "trustworthy" AI, adding that "approaches and policy instruments to achieve the common vision and goal of trustworthy AI may vary across G7 members."
The conversations at the summit come as the leaders are charting their own courses in their respective countries about how to handle AI advancements. The European Union is debating legislation on the regulation of AI. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was among the participants here.
White House officials also hoped AI governance would be raised during the G7 to discuss emerging issues of potential concern.
During a session Friday on the global economy, U.S. President Joe Biden briefed his counterparts on a meeting held this month at the White House in which top executives from companies developing artificial intelligence such as Google and Microsoft discussed the technology. He also provided an update on the work the U.S. government is doing on a framework that balances the risks with the opportunities in the technology.
"Other G7 leaders spoke to this issue as well," Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser, said Saturday at a briefing. "I think this is a topic that is very much seizing the attention of leaders of all of these key, advanced democratic market economies."
There are different elements to the discussions at the summit, he said, including what each country decides to do in their own countries to pass laws and regulations on the technology. They also have to consider whether there is a global role.
"How do we come together in an international format to effectively try to align approaches so that we're dealing with this incredibly fast-moving technology with these incredibly far-reaching implications?" he said, characterizing the discussion here as "a good start."
G7 leaders directed their countries' top officials to work together on the issue and establish the "Hiroshima AI process" to discuss generative AI and report back by the end of 2023.
"Leaders have tasked their teams to work together on what the right format would be for an international discussion around norms and standards going forward," Sullivan said.