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Global Leaders Warn A.I. Could Cause 'Catastrophic' Harm

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The mansion house at Bletchley Park, north of London. The country estate, home of Britain’s code-breaking efforts in World War II, was the site of a two-day summit focused on A.I. safety.

Credit: Matt Dunham/Associated Press

In 1950, Alan Turing, the gifted British mathematician and code-breaker, published an academic paper. His aim, he wrote, was to consider the question, "Can machines think?"

The answer runs to almost 12,000 words. But it ends succinctly: "We can only see a short distance ahead," Mr. Turing wrote, "but we can see plenty there that needs to be done."

More than seven decades on, that sentiment sums up the mood of many policymakers, researchers and tech leaders attending Britain's A.I. Safety Summit on Wednesday, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hopes will position the country as a leader in the global race to harness and regulate artificial intelligence.

On Wednesday morning, his government released a document called the Bletchley Declaration, signed by representatives from the 28 countries attending the event, including the U.S. and China, which warned of the dangers posed by the most advanced "frontier" A.I. systems.

From The New York Times
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