Amazon Joins Microsoft, Google in Putting Limits on Its AI Tech

Amazon has joined a consortium of 16 tech giants in pledging to kill development of new AI systems if they cross a certain risk threshold.

The "Frontier AI Safety Commitments" document, unveiled last week at the AI Seoul Summit, lays out guidelines for limiting AI misuse. Its list of signatories reads like a "who's who" of the generative AI market; besides Amazon, it includes Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, Meta and industry bellwether OpenAI. Their participation marked a "world first," according to the U.K. government, which co-hosted the summit alongside the Republic of Korea.

In the topmost goal of the document, organizations are asked to "effectively identify, assess and manage risks when developing and deploying their frontier AI models and systems."

Many of the signatories already have internal requirements meant to ensure the safety of their AI technologies. OpenAI, for example, unveiled an AI "preparedness framework" last year, though it's still in beta. It also recently formed a new AI Safety and Security Committee, albeit after disbanding its previous AI safety committee.

Microsoft, meanwhile, abides by its Responsible AI Standard developed in 2016. Meta and others are also independently exploring ways to "watermark" content created by their AI systems to limit misinformation, especially in light of this year's elections.

Critically, however, a tenet of this first commitment is that organizations must agree to kill development of AI systems that are beyond saving.

Specifically, they must define "thresholds at which severe risks posed by a model or system, unless adequately mitigated, would be deemed intolerable," and "commit not to develop or deploy a model or system at all, if mitigations cannot be applied to keep risks below the thresholds."

The companies are tasked with defining their kill thresholds over the coming months, with the goal of publishing a formal safety framework in time for the AI Action Summit happening February 2025 in France.

"Amazon is proud to endorse the Frontier AI Safety Commitments, which in many ways represent the culmination of a multi-year effort to establish global norms for the safe, secure, and trustworthy development and deployment of frontier AI," said Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky in a prepared statement. "As the state of the art of AI continues to evolve, we agree that it is important for companies to provide transparency about how they are managing potential risks of frontier models and honoring their global commitments."

The two other goals outlined in the document are:

  • Organisations are accountable for safely developing and deploying their frontier AI models and systems.
  • Organisations' approaches to frontier AI safety are appropriately transparent to external actors, including governments.

The document also lists several AI safety best practices that the signatories pledge to apply, if they haven't already. These include red-teaming, watermarking, incentivizing third-party testing, creating safeguards against insider threats, and more.

Said U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, "These commitments ensure the world's leading AI companies will provide transparency and accountability on their plans to develop safe AI." The pledges laid out in the document do not carry legal weight, however; in fact, they're described as "voluntary commitments."

Here is the full list of signatories:

  • Amazon
  • Anthropic
  • Cohere
  • Google/Google DeepMind
  • G42
  • IBM
  • Inflection AI
  • Meta
  • Microsoft
  • Mistral AI
  • Naver
  • OpenAI
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Technology Innovation Institute
  • xAI

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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