Frontier AI regulation: Managing emerging risks to public safety


Advanced AI models hold the promise of tremendous benefits for humanity, but society needs to proactively manage the accompanying risks. In this paper, we focus on what we term “frontier AI” models: highly capable foundation models that could possess dangerous capabilities sufficient to pose severe risks to public safety. Frontier AI models pose a distinct regulatory challenge: dangerous capabilities can arise unexpectedly; it is difficult to robustly prevent a deployed model from being misused; and, it is difficult to stop a model’s capabilities from proliferating broadly. To address these challenges, at least three building blocks for the regulation of frontier models are needed: (1) standard-setting processes to identify appropriate requirements for frontier AI developers, (2) registration and reporting requirements to provide regulators with visibility into frontier AI development processes, and (3) mechanisms to ensure compliance with safety standards for the development and deployment of frontier AI models. Industry self-regulation is an important first step. However, wider societal discussions and government intervention will be needed to create standards and to ensure compliance with them. We consider several options to this end, including granting enforcement powers to supervisory authorities and licensure regimes for frontier AI models. Finally, we propose an initial set of safety standards. These include conducting pre-deployment risk assessments; external scrutiny of model behavior; using risk assessments to inform deployment decisions; and monitoring and responding to new information about model capabilities and uses post-deployment. We hope this discussion contributes to the broader conversation on how to balance public safety risks and innovation benefits from advances at the frontier of AI development.