Yoon warns that disinformation can threaten freedom at AI Safety Summit President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, takes part in the inaugural global AI Safety Summit hosted by Britain via videoconference in Seoul Thursday. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE] Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol warned that disinformation can undermine freedom and democracy in the era of artificial intelligence and digital technologies as he addressed world leaders at the inaugural global AI Safety Summit. Yoon took part in the international summit hosted by Britain by videoconference from Seoul Thursday to discuss in-depth global cooperation measures for safe use of AI and the establishment of governance, the presidential office said Friday. “The emergence of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has enhanced conveniences in our lives and raised industrial productivity,” Yoon said, according to his office. “But the digital gap is worsening the economic gap, and rapidly increasing disinformation can undermine our freedom and threaten democratic systems such as elections.” Yoon noted that Korea announced a “Digital Bill of Rights” last September, highlighting the five principles of freedom, fairness, safety, innovation and solidarity as fundamental values that should be pursued in the AI digital era. “Digital technologies, including AI, should only contribute to expanding human freedom and welfare, without posing a threat to individual and social safety,” Yoon said. “Everyone should be guaranteed fair opportunities for competition and innovation, and the entire society should be able to equally enjoy the benefits brought by digital technologies.” Attendees of the two-day summit included U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Tesla and X owner Elon Musk and other executives of leading tech companies and AI experts. Korea and Britain announced they will co-host a mini virtual summit in May next year as part of the global AI Safety Summit. Korea will host the AI Global Forum to support the launch of an international organization under the United Nations tasked with establishing a global AI governance system. Yoon said Korea is committed to working closely with the AI safety network proposed during the summit and a high-level AI advisory body launched by the UN last month, according to his office. Related Article [AI IN ACTION] Korea Inc. dashes into AI world with own platforms [AI IN ACTION] Financial firms embrace AI for personalized services [AI IN ACTION] Pharmas seek efficient AI-driven drug development The Korean government will gather the opinions of each country participating in the summit to advance the discussions to prepare for the mini virtual summit to be held with Britain in six months, the office added. The virtual summit will check up on the progress made before the second AI Safety Summit hosted by France next year. Britain on Wednesday published a “Bletchley Declaration,” aimed at boosting global efforts to cooperate on AI safety in light of potential risks. The declaration read that AI “should be designed, developed, deployed, and used, in a manner that is safe, in such a way as to be human-centric, trustworthy and responsible.” It was agreed by 28 countries including Korea, the United States and China on Wednesday, the opening day of the summit hosted at Bletchley Park in England. The countries called to “continue research on frontier AI safety to ensure that the benefits of the technology can be harnessed responsibly for good and for all.” BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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