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Bletchley Declaration: UK, US, Nigeria Others Unite to Accelerate Development of AI

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Leading AI nations, convened for the first time by the UK and including the United States, Nigeria and China, along with the European Union, have today reached a world-first agreement at Bletchley Park establishing a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks posed by frontier AI and the need for governments to work together to meet the most significant challenges.

The Bletchley Declaration on AI safety sees 28 countries from across the globe including in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as the EU, agreeing to the urgent need to understand and collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort to ensure AI is developed and deployed in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of the global community.

Countries endorsing the Declaration also include Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.

The Declaration fulfils key summit objectives in establishing shared agreement and responsibility on the risks, opportunities and a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research, particularly through greater scientific collaboration. Talks today, with leading frontier AI companies and experts from academia and civil society, will see further discussions on understanding frontier AI risks and improving frontier AI safety.

Countries agreed substantial risks may arise from potential intentional misuse or unintended issues of control of frontier AI, with particular concern caused by cybersecurity, biotechnology and misinformation risks. The Declaration sets out agreement that there is “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.” Countries also noted the risks beyond frontier AI, including bias and privacy.

Recognising the need to deepen the understanding of risks and capabilities that are not fully understood, attendees have also agreed to work together to support a network of scientific research on Frontier AI safety. This builds on the UK Prime Minister’s announcement last week for the UK to establish the world’s first AI Safety Institute and complements existing international efforts including at the G7, OECD, Council of Europe, United Nations and the Global Partnership on AI. This will ensure the best available scientific research can be used to create an evidence base for managing the risks whilst unlocking the benefits of the technology, including through the UK’s AI Safety Institute which will look at the range of risks posed by AI.

The Declaration details that the risks are “best addressed through international cooperation”. As part of agreeing a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety, The Republic of Korea has agreed to co-host a mini virtual summit on AI in the next six months. France will then host the next in-person Summit in a year from now. Further details on these events will be confirmed in due course.

This ensures an enduring legacy from the Summit and continued international action to tackle AI risks, including informing national and international risk-based policies across these countries.

The Declaration, building upon last week’s announcement of the UK’s emerging processes for AI safety, also acknowledges that those developing these unusually powerful and potentially dangerous frontier AI capabilities have a particular responsibility for ensuring the safety of these systems, including by implementing systems to test them and other appropriate measures.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “This is a landmark achievement that sees the world’s greatest AI powers agree on the urgency behind understanding the risks of AI – helping ensure the long-term future of our children and grandchildren.

“Under the UK’s leadership, more than twenty five countries at the AI Safety Summit have stated a shared responsibility to address AI risks and take forward vital international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research.

“The UK is once again leading the world at the forefront of this new technological frontier by kickstarting this conversation, which will see us work together to make AI safe and realise all its benefits for generations to come.”

Michelle Donelan, Technology Secretary said:  “Today’s agreement, signed by attendees from across the globe, offers an important first step as we begin two days of vitally important discussions here at Bletchley Park.

“We have always said that no single country can face down the challenges and risks posed by AI alone, and today’s landmark Declaration marks the start of a new global effort to build public trust by ensuring the technology’s safe development.

“Bletchley Park marks the start of a long road ahead, and the Summit will kickstart an enduring process to ensure every nation and every citizen can realise the boundless benefits of AI”.

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “AI knows no borders, and its impact on the world will only deepen.

“The UK is proud to have kickstarted the global discussion at Bletchley Park on how we ensure the transformational power of AI is used as a force for good by and for all of us.”

A spokesperson for the French Presidency said: “The French authorities welcome the international and cooperative work cycle launched by the AI Satefy Summit to analyse, understand and respond to the risks that certain Frontier AI models could cause. France is ready to participate in this long-term collective effort and will be happy to host the next in person Summit”.

A spokesperson for the Republic of Korea Government said: “Minister Lee is delighted that Korea will be the co-hosts of the mini virtual summit. Korea is a world leader in technologies like AI and recognises the importance of multilateral cooperation to ensure AI technologies are designed, used and governed in safe ways.”

To mark the opening of the Summit, His Majesty The King delivered a virtual address, via video to the AI Safety Summit this morning as proceedings got underway. His Majesty pointed to AI being one of the ‘greatest technological leaps in the history of human endeavour’ and hailed the technology’s enormous potential to transform the lives of citizens across the world through better treatments for conditions like cancer and heart disease.

The King also spoke of the ‘clear imperative to ensure that this rapidly evolving technology remains safe and secure’ and the need for ‘international coordination and collaboration’. The King’s address signed-off with thanks for the vital role attendees will play over the next two days, laying the foundations for a ‘lasting consensus’ on AI safety to cement its place as a force for good.

Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Federal Republic of Nigeria said: “Artificial Intelligence offers an unprecedented opportunity to appropriate knowledge more quickly and seamlessly in addressing some of our pressing socio-economic challenges. Our duty as policymakers is to ensure that our nation can participate and mainstream value creation from AI.

“As we embark on this journey to accelerating our investment in the use of AI for good, it is essential to collaborate with long-standing allies to deepen our capacity and knowledge.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Alleged Debt: Court Freezes Accounts of Swift Networks

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted Union Bank Plc. an interim order of Injunction restraining Swift Networks Limited and its agents from accessing funds and assets in all banks pending the determination of a Motion on Notice in an alleged debt recovery suit.

According to a certified true copy of the order, it was issued by the court on June 19, 2024, based on the application filed on June 11, 2024, and after hearing Gbenga Akinde Counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant, Union Bank, moves a motion ex-parte.

Union Bank listed Swift Networks and its Managing Director Charles Anudu as the Defendants/Respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1010/2024.

Following Union Bank’s latest application, Justice Bogoro restrained the Defendants, their Directors, Staff, Management and Agents from tampering with, operating, withdrawing from, and/or dealing with the Defendants’ funds (whether held directly or by proxy) in any bank and/or financial institution within Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

The judge also directed all Banks/Financial Institutions harbouring the defendants’ accounts to depose on oath and furnish the plaintiff or its firm of solicitors, the details of the credit outstanding in the defendants’ account within seven days of receipt of the order.


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Layer3 Implements World-Class Upgrade for WACREN Cloud Infrastructure

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Layer3 has announced the successful implementation of a state-of-the-art private cloud infrastructure for the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN). This pivotal project, hosted in Nigeria, is supported by the AfricaConnect3 project, co-funded by the European Commission.

Layer3 was selected for this prestigious project after an international bidding and tendering process. The newly established private cloud infrastructure will serve universities, research and education networks across the region, providing a robust, secure, and scalable platform designed to meet the unique needs of the academic and research community.

Key features of the cloud infrastructure include its high performance and scalability, engineered to handle large-scale data and computational needs, ensuring seamless scalability as demand increases. The platform also incorporates cutting-edge security protocols to ensure high-level data protection and integrity.

Other features in this state-of-the-art infrastructure include:

  • Reliability and Redundancy: Equipped with multiple layers of redundancy and failover mechanisms to guarantee high availability and minimal downtime.
  • Customizable Solutions: Offers tailored services adaptable to specific institutional requirements, supporting a diverse range of academic and research activities.
  • Ease of Integration: Facilitates seamless integration with existing IT environments and other cloud services, enhancing operational efficiency.

This world-class private cloud infrastructure is a significant milestone for the educational and research sector in West and Central Africa. By providing a dedicated and sophisticated cloud environment, the project will:

  • enhance research capabilities as researchers and educators will have access to powerful computational resources and collaborative tools, to facilitate groundbreaking research and innovation that will ultimately lead to development in the region
  • improve educational outcomes as universities can leverage the cloud platform to offer more dynamic and interactive learning experiences.
  • boost regional collaboration: The cloud infrastructure will enable regional research collaboration as researchers in different institutions in different countries can work on joint research projects and educational programs.
  • drive digital transformation: By adopting cutting-edge cloud technology, institutions can accelerate their digital transformation journeys and stay competitive in the global education landscape.

“We are honored to have been selected by WACREN and the AfricaConnect3 project for this transformative initiative. Our team is excited to have delivered this world-class cloud infrastructure that will empower the educational and research community in West and Central Africa, driving innovation and excellence. This project underscores our commitment to providing top-tier IT solutions that support academic and research excellence.” said Layer3 CEO, Oyaje Idoko.

According to WACREN CEO, Dr. Boubakar Barry, “This WACREN Cloud upgrade marks a significant step forward for us as it will enhance our capacity to serve national research and education networks (NRENs) and their communities across our region.

“We will leverage the capabilities of this new cluster to drive our suite of community-driven platforms and services.  We look forward to the tremendous impact the expanded infrastructure will have on fostering research and innovation excellence across West and Central Africa.”

For more information about Layer3 and its services, please visit www.layer3.ng.

Layer3 is a leading IT and cloud solutions provider in Nigeria, specialized in delivering innovative technology solutions that drive business growth and efficiency. With a focus on quality and customer satisfaction, Layer3 offers a comprehensive range of services, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI-driven network solutions, and managed services.


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NITDA, FCT-UBEB, Collaborate To Foster Digital Literacy In Schools

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In a significant development in Nigeria’s educational sector aimed at boosting digital literacy among school children, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is set to collaborate with the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Educational Board (FCT-UBEB) towards revolutionising the way young Nigerians engage with technology and equipping them with necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

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The forgoing information is contained in a press statement e-signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, Hajia Hadiza Umar.

As per the statement, the Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi , made this known when he hosted a delegation from the Head-to-Head Debate Committee of FCT UBEB led by its Ag. Executive Chairman, Dr Alhassan Sule, at the Agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja to discuss possible areas of collaboration.

Mallam Abdullahi , who was represented by the agency’s Director of the Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS) department, Oladejo Olawumi, stated that the collaboration aligned with a pillar of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0) 2024-2027 which was to Foster Digital Literacy and Cultivate Talents.

While stating that the pillar was key to the proposed educational board’s debate competition, the NITDA DG emphasised the importance of integrating technology into education to capture the interest and potential of young people.

“Children today, often referred to as digital natives, intuitively use technology and unlike us, who are digital migrants, these children seamlessly adapt to new gadgets and platforms. Therefore, it is essential to embed digital knowledge in their learning environment,” he noted.

Abdullahi disclosed that the agency had been providing infrastructure and resources to facilitate educational transformation as well as digital learning centres across all states of the country.

He added that the Digital Literacy for All programme was a national initiative of the agency which was designed to extend digital education resources to all corners of the country and urged the visitors to key into the programme while he asserted that it would be instrumental in enhancing digital literacy skills among students and out-of-school children alike.

Highlighting the agency’s focus on emerging technologies, Abdullahi stated that extensive research and development were being conducted in areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics which were pivotal for future skill sets.

While referring to a recent collaboration between the agency and the Abuja Enterprise Agency on a Robotics competition organised for secondary schools in Abuja to spur interest in Robotics and technology among students, he said “I think we can work together in this area and make sure that Robotics interest is geared up among the youth.”

Elaborating on the Agency’s ongoing initiatives toward achieving 70 per cent digital literacy in the country by 2027, he further disclosed that the agency was working to integrate digital literacy into the national educational curriculum and providing hands-on experience with technologies like AI and Robotics.

While stressing the importance of addressing the needs of out-of-school children, he mentioned “We are developing programmes in partnership with various stakeholders to attract these children through incentives like school feeding, coupled with digital literacy and other educational training.”

Abdullahi noted that the multifaceted approach would ensure that children were not only fed but also equipped with essential digital skills that would pave the way for a more inclusive and technologically proficient future.

In his earlier remark, Dr Sule commended the agency for their various strategic initiatives to ensure a sustainable digitally transformed economy in the country.

While stating that the head-to-head committee was saddled with the responsibility of conducting the FCT Basic Schools debate competition, he noted that 900 students in the FCT would contest in a debate.

Sule said that finalists from the competition would be moved to a reality house which will be aired live on different media platforms where they would be trained on AI and Robotics.


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