G7 nations sign deal to harness AI potential

G7 nations will produce a joint report on how to increase artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, boost growth of the quantum sector and create an AI toolkit to inform policy-making

The G7 nations will partner on how to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve global productivity and growing the economy.

The countries have all signed an agreement to collaborate on several AI initiatives and commit to working together on innovation and technology adoption.

The agreement signed during talks in Italy, which holds the G7 presidency for 2024, includes creating a joint report looking in detail at the factors involved in AI uptake among businesses.

According to the G7 Ministerial Declaration, the work will include collecting and assessing policy strategies and experiences across G7 countries when it comes to AI adoption among medium and small enterprises. It also involves engaging stakeholders with “the aim to raise awareness of how AI can be used to optimise business processes, promote voluntary knowledge exchanges among trusted companies, and discuss obstacles in adopting this technology”.

Once finished, the report, which is due by the end of 2024, will improve the G7’s understanding of tech collaboration and offer a set of recommendations which will aim to support companies to roll out safe and trustworthy AI.

As part of the deal, the countries will work to create an AI toolkit, which will be published by the end of 2024. The toolkit will be produced with the aim of ensuring public sectors are equipped to deal with AI systems, and help the public sector to translate principles for safe and secure use of trustworthy AI into actionable policies.

Commenting on the agreement, science, innovation and technology secretary Michelle Donelan said that AI has the potential to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“I am determined that we continue to drive forward efforts to harness the enormous potential of these emerging technologies to unlock new opportunities and turbocharge productivity,” she said.

“Doing this in lockstep with our G7 partners adds to the rich history we already share of improving the lives of citizens across the globe, working together to address a shared set of challenges. Our two days of talks in Italy have laid the foundations for us to further this work in the age of AI and emerging tech, delivering transformative change through our shared expertise and innovation.”

The countries will also look at emerging technologies such as quantum, sharing information and support each other on research and development toward industrial adoption of quantum technologies.

According to the ministerial declaration, the G7 countries have agreed that the creation of a global market for quantum should include the development and appropriate adoption of technical standards, as well as pre-standardisation activities, such as benchmarking, terminology, and metrics.

“This may support comparison and interoperability among different quantum devices and facilitate compatibility with existing technologies. We encourage, where appropriate, the development and adoption of international technical standards in standards development organisations,” it said.

UK minister for tech and the digital economy Saquib Bhatti said the talks in Italy had “been enormously productive”.

“The UK has long been a leading voice on the global stage for greater collaboration across science, innovation, and technology. Supported by this agreement, we will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our G7 partners to realise the huge benefits emerging technologies like AI and quantum can bring,” he said.

The deal also includes a commitment to creating a new Point of Contact Group on semiconductors, as the countries recognise the role semiconductors have in driving forward the adoption of emerging technologies. The group will help countries share best practice on issues surrounding the semiconductor industry, such as sustainable manufacturing and research and development (R&D) priorities.

In 2023, the UK government also published its first semiconductor strategy to support the country’s chip industry.

The G7 countries include the UK, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, the US and Japan, while the European Union (EU) is a “non-enumerated” member.

Read more about the government and international tech collaboration

  • Declaration aims to build on joint R&D efforts, as well as support artificial intelligence, quantum computing and clean tech.
  • Deal between UK and Japan focuses on innovation and will see countries collaborate on networking and investment, joint R&D programmes and exchange schemes.
  • UK deal with Canada will see the two countries collaborate on AI compute – a development component of artificial intelligence – and work together on technology innovations such as quantum and semiconductors.

Read more on IT for government and public sector

Data Center
Data Management