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Meloni Seeks to Further Develop Hiroshima AI Process to Address Challenges Posed by Generative AI

LaPresse via AP
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks in Rome on Jan. 29.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni highlighted measures related to artificial intelligence as a key agenda item for her nation as this year’s chair of the Group of Seven, in an exclusive written interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun ahead of her scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday.

Meloni expressed enthusiasm for further developing the Hiroshima AI Process initiated by Japan last year to address the challenges posed by generative AI.

Meloni was scheduled to visit Japan from Sunday to Tuesday. Her itinerary includes a handover of the leadership of the G7 and talks with Kishida.

The Italian prime minister raised concerns about generative AI during the interview, stating, “Generative AI systems can have a decisive impact on the world of work, information, global balances, and our security.”

Regarding the influence of AI-generated misinformation, she noted: “This is a very topical problem that is spreading everywhere at great speed, with impacts that go from internal polarization of our societies to interference in elections and democratic processes. False information puts cohesion in our democracies under threat.”

“We must strike the right balance, countering attacks and external interference while at the same time ensuring freedom of expression, which is a founding pillar of our democracies,” Meloni said. She emphasized the necessity to “combine technical solutions and regulatory instruments.”

Meloni also underscored her commitment to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion, stating, “This commitment stems first and foremost from the moral duty to help a sovereign nation that is fighting for survival.”

Amid concerns over possible “Ukraine fatigue” among the United States and European nations, Meloni emphatically stated, “Italy’s support for Ukraine has been — and will remain — unwavering.”

“Ukraine’s security is Europe’s security,” the prime minister said. “The greatest weapon we have at our disposal is the unity of our action,” stressing the importance of Western nations’ cohesion.

Regarding Italy’s decision to withdraw from China’s massive “Belt and Road” economic initiative, Meloni said “it did not create the benefits hoped for.” Italy became the sole G7 member to participate in the initiative in 2019.

She outlined the plan to pursue a relationship outside the Belt and Road Initiative framework, aiming for mutual economic benefits between Italy and China.