Chinese AI company founder insists 'human' factor still key to success of new technology
Matthew Nash

One of the leading UK-based artificial intelligence innovators has claimed artificial intelligence "will help to advance humanity" as Britain's King Charles led the calls to regulate AI with "urgency" at the start of the AI Safety Summit in central England.

The host nation on Wednesday published a "Bletchley Declaration," agreed with countries including the U.S. and China, aimed at boosting global efforts to co-operate on the future of AI and its safety. The declaration, by 28 countries and the European Union, was published on the opening day of the event at Bletchley Park.

But George Ye, co-founder and managing director at UBIPOS UK, an award-winning geospatial science applications and solutions company, defended the technology and believes it will not become an "automatic weapon."


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"I think (the) human actor is the most important factor in the whole ecosystem, because what I mean by that is our humans, we can choose to put in certain stop gaps or control mechanisms to make sure AI will not become like an automatic weapon.," he insisted.

Ye, whose company operates in the UK, Europe and China, believes the summit represents the perfect opportunity to bring global powers together to agree on the principles of their approach to AI going forward.


"A wonderful opportunity to work together"

China is willing to enhance communication with all sides on AI regulation, vice minister of science and technology Wu Zhaohui said on Wednesday, something Ye backs fully.

Ye added: "This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole world to get together. I think the UK Government and the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, have made a very correct and right decision to include a major global partner and a player like China to be part of this conversation because without China's involvement it would be totally pointless."

Ye played down claims that people should be concerned that their jobs will be taken by robots in the future, with King Charles saying: "We must similarly address the risks presented by AI with a sense of urgency, unity and collective strength."

George Ye believes that AI can 'advance humanity'. /CGTN Europe
George Ye believes that AI can 'advance humanity'. /CGTN Europe

George Ye believes that AI can 'advance humanity'. /CGTN Europe

X (formerly known as Twitter) boss Elon Musk spoke about establishing a "third-party referee" that could oversee companies developing artificial intelligence and sound the alarm if they have concerns but Ye maintains he can become a worker's "best friend."

Ye continued: "I want to convey the message that AI will help to advance humanity, especially improving and increasing productivity. So in future, I will be a worker or a productive person's best friend in terms of helping that person maybe to achieve twice, three times, five times their usual output. We should look at it like that."


Questions over carbon footprint

A recent study found that the computing infrastructure required to drive the air sector alone could use as much energy as that of a country the size of the Netherlands in just four years' time, shedding light on AI's carbon footprint. 

Ye said: "This is a very big issue. We need to generate more green energy in terms of powering AI because (it) will use a lot of data centers, either the traditional data center or the cloud based on all of these are generating huge amounts of, potential heat source on the carbon. So this is an area there needs to be a focus on tackling."

The U.S. will launch an AI safety institute to evaluate known and emerging risks of what is called "frontier" artificial intelligence models, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.

"I will almost certainly be calling on many of you in the audience who are in academia and industry to be part of this consortium," she told the AI Safety Summit in Britain. "We can't do it alone, the private sector must step up."

Raimondo added that she would also commit to the U.S. institute establishing a formal partnership with the United Kingdom Safety Institute. "We have to get to work together," she added.

British digital minister Michelle Donelan said it was an achievement just to get so many key players in one room. "For the first time, we now have countries agreeing that we need to look not just independently but collectively at the risk around frontier AI," she told reporters.

Chinese AI company founder insists 'human' factor still key to success of new technology

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