Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that Japan will seek to lead international efforts in establishing rules for the use of artificial intelligence as the chair of this year's Group of Seven meetings.

The pledge comes as governments have been pushing to harness rapidly developing technologies like AI bot ChatGPT while mitigating risks to privacy and addressing other concerns.

"AI has the potential to positively change the economy and society, and (it also has) risks. We need to respond appropriately to both," Kishida said at the first meeting of a government panel to discuss the country's AI strategy.

"It is necessary for Japan, as the G-7 chair, to exercise leadership in promoting common understanding and establishing rules," he added.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (2nd from L) attends the first meeting of a government panel to discuss the country's AI strategy, at his office in Tokyo on May 11, 2023. (Kyodo)

The panel, comprised of academics, business people and government officials, is expected to discuss how to better use and regulate AI. Yutaka Matsuo, a professor at the University of Tokyo, heads the panel.

Chatbots are software applications trained using massive amounts of data from the internet and other sources, enabling them to process and simulate human-like conversations with users.

Among them, ChatGPT, made by U.S. venture OpenAI in November 2022 as a prototype, has caught global attention. It stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer and is driven by a machine learning that works by mimicking processes in the human brain.

But there are also concerns that the service provider gathers vast amounts of personal data without authorization.

Kishida will host the G-7 summit between May 19 and 21 in Hiroshima, joined by leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States plus the European Union.

It follows the meeting last month of their technology ministers in Japan, in which they agreed to set international standards to ensure the "responsible" use of AI.

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