US, Britain, other countries ink agreement to make AI ‘secure by design’

November 27, 2023


The United States, the UK, and more than a dozen other nations announced what a senior US official characterized as the first detailed international agreement on how to keep artificial intelligence safe from rogue actors on Sunday, urging the industries to build AI systems that are “secure by design.”

Story Highlights:

  • Eighteen nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, agree on a non-binding pact emphasizing AI development and prioritizing consumer and public safety.
  • The 20-page report provides broad advice, urging firms to monitor AI systems for misuse, secure data against manipulation, and assess software vendors for safety considerations.
  • The agreement marks a significant shift, with the director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency highlighting the affirmation that AI capabilities should prioritize security during the design phase, reflecting a global effort to control the development of AI.

The 18 nations agreed in a 20-page report released on Sunday that firms building and utilizing AI must develop and deploy it in a way that protects consumers and the general public from exploitation.

The agreement is non-binding and consists mainly of broad advice such as monitoring AI systems for misuse, securing data from manipulation, and evaluating software vendors.

Still, the director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Jen Easterly, said it was important that so many countries put their names to the idea that AI systems must put safety first.

“This is the first time that we have seen an affirmation that these capabilities should not just be about cool features and how quickly we can get them to market or how we can compete to drive down costs,” Easterly told Reuters, saying the guidelines represent “an agreement that the most important thing that needs to be done at the design phase is security.”

The pact is the latest in a series of moves by governments worldwide to control the development of AI, the weight of which is increasingly felt in industry and society.

Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Australia, Chile, Israel, Nigeria, and Singapore are among the 18 nations that have signed on to the new standards, the United States and the United Kingdom.

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