THE BLETCHLEY DECLARATION: A NEW PARADIGM FOR GLOBAL AI SAFETY
By Setyawati Fitrianggraeni, Hary Elias, Sri Purnama
On the 1st and 2nd of November 2023, the 2023 Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit marked a significant milestone in the international discourse on the safety and regulation of Artificial Intelligence. Indonesia as well as representatives from other nations convened at the AI Safety Summit, culminating in a unified stance known as the Bletchley Declaration. Hosted by the United Kingdom, the summit convened nations and leading intellectuals worldwide to foster rapid, collaborative action on AI development. The summit aimed to promote inclusive growth, sustainable development, and innovation whilst safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also sought to cultivate public trust in AI systems and maximise their potentials. The Bletchley Declaration emerged as a manifesto, calling all stakeholders to ensure AI’s safety through unified action, capacity building, and leveraging AI to support sustainable growth and bridge the developmental divide.
The cooperation fostered at the summit crystallised around several key agendas addressing the forefront of AI development:
The Bletchley Declaration can be the legal reference for every participating nation to draft their own regulation that governs AI or to adjust and improve existing regulations.
One major criticism of the Declaration is that it will not go far enough to materially affect the work of programmers and software developers who are at the forefront of AI development. AI development is typically conducted by not only big-tech, but also smaller developers who are far removed from direct government control. The Internet, being porous, allows for new AI software to be developed, and distributed almost free from any State intervention. Consequently, making international rules, and harmonizing laws, may not stem the tide of unsafe AI as envisaged by the Declaration. It is worth noting that the international community faced the same challenges in stem cell research, and on the issue of human cloning. It remains to be seen whether the international community can one day have rules in which all stakeholders adopt common rules and safeguards for the good of humanity.
It will also be interesting to watch how independent AI developers react to any legislation passed by their governments. In line with the Bletchley Declaration, governments are encouraged to pass laws to promote safety. These laws also affect national and international research on AI safety and are ostensibly to extend and deepen scientific knowledge, with a view to facilitating the provision of the best science available for policymaking and the public good. Detractors of the Declaration will argue that such legislation will be tantamount to meddling, and unnecessary government intervention, and that governments are simply trying to profit on the backs of private AI developers. We live in interesting times indeed.
This is a stepping stone for everyone to take caution and interest in the future of technological advancement of Artificial Intelligence Systems. We advised all our clients with operations or interests in the topic to follow our updates of this declaration and act accordingly, to minimize unnecessary legal risks.
 Setyawati Fitrianggraeni holds the position of Managing Partner at Anggraeni and Partners in Indonesia. She also serves as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University ofIndonesia, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. Dr. Hary Elias is a General Counsel at Anggraeni and Partners. Lastly, this article is co-authored by Sri Purnama, Junior Legal Research Analyst at Anggraeni and Partners.
 The countries represented were: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Nigeria, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkiye, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
 “The Bletchley Declaration by Countries Attending the AI Safety Summit, 1-2 November 2023”. Published on 1 November 2023. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ai-safety-summit-2023-the-bletchley-declaration/the-bletchley-declaration-by-countries-attending-the-ai-safety-summit-1-2-november-2023. Accessed on 3 November 2023.
 In the context of the Bletchley Declaration, entities refer to all individuals, organisations, corporations, governments, and any other groups involved in the design, development, deployment, or use of AI technologies. This includes but is not limited to AI researchers, developers, manufacturers, service providers, and end-users.
 George, Lawton. “Generative AI ethics: 8 Biggest concerns and risks”. https://www.techtarget.com/searchenterpriseai/tip/Generative-AI-ethics-8-biggest-concerns#:~:text=Like%20other%20forms%20of%20AI,copyright%20infringements%20and%20harmful%20content. Accessed on 3 November 2023.
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