Position: A Safe Harbor for AI Evaluation and Red Teaming

Published: 02 May 2024, Last Modified: 25 Jun 2024ICML 2024 OralEveryoneRevisionsBibTeXCC BY 4.0
Abstract: Independent evaluation and red teaming are critical for identifying the risks posed by generative AI systems. However, the terms of service and enforcement strategies used by prominent AI companies to deter model misuse have disincentives on good faith safety evaluations. This causes some researchers to fear that conducting such research or releasing their findings will result in account suspensions or legal reprisal. Although some companies offer researcher access programs, they are an inadequate substitute for independent research access, as they have limited community representation, receive inadequate funding, and lack independence from corporate incentives. We propose that major generative AI developers commit to providing a legal and technical safe harbor, protecting public interest safety research and removing the threat of account suspensions or legal reprisal. These proposals emerged from our collective experience conducting safety, privacy, and trustworthiness research on generative AI systems, where norms and incentives could be better aligned with public interests, without exacerbating model misuse. We believe these commitments are a necessary step towards more inclusive and unimpeded community efforts to tackle the risks of generative AI.
Submission Number: 7481