UK set to host global AI safety summit in November
The UK boasts strong credentials as a world leader in AI. /Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters
The UK boasts strong credentials as a world leader in AI. /Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

The UK boasts strong credentials as a world leader in AI. /Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

International governments, leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies and experts in research will gather for crucial talks in November on the safe development and use of frontier AI technology in the UK.

The major global event will take place in the iconic Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, on the November 1 and 2 to consider the risks of AI, especially at the frontier of development, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action. 

Frontier AI models hold enormous potential to power economic growth, drive scientific progress and wider public benefits, while also posing potential safety risks if not developed responsibly.


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The roots of AI can be traced back to the leading minds who worked at Bletchley during World War II, with codebreakers Jack Good and Donald Michie among those who went on to write extensive works on the technology. 

Preparations for the summit are already in full flow, with Matt Clifford and Jonathan Black recently appointed as the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Representatives. Together they will spearhead talks and negotiations, as they rally leading AI nations and experts over the next three months to ensure the summit provides a platform for countries to work together on further developing a shared approach to agree the safety measures needed to mitigate the risks of AI.


'A shared approach to safe use'

"To fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities of artificial intelligence, we must grip and tackle the risks to ensure it develops safely in the years ahead," said Sunak.

"With the combined strength of our international partners, thriving AI industry and expert academic community, we can secure the rapid international action we need for the safe and responsible development of AI around the world," he added.

UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan hailed the international collaboration as "the cornerstone of our approach to AI regulation." She expressed her hope that the summit would lead to an agreement between nations and experts on a shared approach to its safe use.

"AI is already improving lives from new innovations in healthcare to supporting efforts to tackle climate change, and November's summit will make sure we can all realize the technology's huge benefits safely and securely for decades to come," said Donelan.

The summit will also build on ongoing work at international forums including the OECD, Global Partnership on AI, Council of Europe, and the UN and standards-development organizations, as well as the recently agreed G7 Hiroshima AI Process.


'No country will be untouched by AI'

The UK boasts strong credentials as a world leader in AI. The technology employs over 50,000 people, directly supports one of the Prime Minister's five priorities by contributing $4.6 billion to the economy, and is the birthplace of leading AI companies such as Google DeepMind.

"No country will be untouched by AI, and no country alone will solve the challenges posed by this technology. In our interconnected world, we must have an international approach," said UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

The man who broke the enigma code that encrypted German communications during the war Alan Turing, made the discovery at Bletchley Park by building the world's first computer and the British will be hoping the event can spark another major shift in the science industry.

"It is fitting that the very spot where leading minds harnessed emerging technologies to influence the successful outcome of World War Two will, once again, be the crucible for international co-ordinated action," said Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust.

UK set to host global AI safety summit in November

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