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NTI Begins Scoping New International AI-Bio Forum

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Significant advances in artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years offer tremendous potential benefits for modern bioscience and bioengineering by supporting the rapid development of vaccines and therapeutics, enabling the development of new materials, fostering economic development, and helping fight climate change. However, AI-bio capabilities—AI tools and technologies that enable the engineering of living systems—also could be accidentally or deliberately misused to cause significant harm, with the potential to cause a global biological catastrophe.

To reduce biosecurity risks that arise at the intersection of AI and the life sciences, NTI | bio convened experts in the fields of synthetic biology, machine learning, bioinformatics, and international security policy on January 11, 2024 to outline steps toward establishing an international AI-Bio Forum.

This work builds on a key recommendation from a recent NTI | bio report, “The Convergence of Artificial Intelligence and the Life Sciences.” This AI-Bio Forum will:

  • Contribute to a shared understanding of biosecurity risks related to AI
  • Develop and share new resources and establish best practices for evaluating biosecurity risks related to AI models and implementing guardrails to reduce those risks, and
  • Work toward global norms that support stronger biosecurity for AI-bio capabilities.

There is currently no international body that can coordinate global engagement in these issues as the field rapidly evolves or that comprehensively brings together the various important but fragmented efforts to reduce risks associated with the intersection of AI and biology.

NTI | bio will continue to work with experts in the field to scope the new international AI-Bio Forum, define its initial structure, and identify key participants. The rapidly evolving risks in the sector underscore the need to establish the AI-Bio Forum quickly, while balancing the need for coalition building and establishing lasting, sustainable solutions.

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