Nations and AI experts convene for day one of first global AI Safety Summit

31/10/2023

LEADING AI nations, businesses, civil society and AI experts will convene at Bletchley Park today for the first ever AI Safety Summit where they’ll discuss the global future of AI and work towards a shared understanding of its risks.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan will open the event by welcoming an expert cast list before setting out the UK government’s vision for safety and security to be at the heart of advances in AI, in order to enable the enormous opportunities it will bring.

She will look to make progress on the talks which will pave the way for a safer world by identifying risks, opportunities and the need for international collaboration, before highlighting consensus on the scale, importance and urgency for AI opportunities and the necessity for mitigating frontier AI risks to unlock them.

The historic venue will play host to the landmark two-day summit, which will see a small, but focussed group comprising of AI companies, civil society and independent experts gather around the table to kickstart urgent talks on the risks and opportunities posed by rapid advances in frontier AI – especially ahead of new models launching next year, whose capabilities may not be fully understood.

The US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China are among nations confirmed as attendees at the AI Safety Summit. Representatives from The Alan Turing Institute, The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Ada Lovelace Institute are also among the groups confirmed to attend, highlighting the depth of expertise of the delegates who are expected to take part in crucial talks.

As set out by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week, the summit will focus on understanding the risks such as potential threats to national security right through to the dangers a loss of control of the technology could bring.

 The UK already employs over 50,000 people in the AI sector and contributes. £3.7 billion to our economy annually. Additionally, the UK is home to twice as many AI companies as any other European country, and hundreds more AI companies start up in the UK every year, growing our economy and creating more jobs.

As such, day one of the summit will host several roundtable discussions dedicated to improving frontier AI safety with key developers such as Open-AI, Anthropic and UK based Deepmind. Delegates will consider how risk thresholds, effective safety assessments, and robust governance and accountability mechanisms can be defined to enable the safe scaling of frontier AI by developers.

 This will run alongside discussions on the potential of the technology to negatively impact society through election disruption, erosion of trust, and widening global inequalities.

Secretary of State for Technology, Michelle Donelan MP said:

“AI is already an extraordinary force for good in our society, with limitless opportunity to grow the global economy, deliver better public services and tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“But the risks posed by frontier AI are serious and substantive and it is critical that we work together, both across sectors and countries to recognise these risks.

“This summit provides an opportunity for us to ensure we have the right people with the right expertise gathered around the table to discuss how we can mitigate these risks moving forward. Only then will we be able to truly reap the benefits of this transformative technology in a responsible manner.”

The second part of the day turns to discussions on improving frontier AI safety to unleash its opportunities responsibly. Delegates will consider how risk, effective safety assessments, and stronger tools for governance and accountability can be defined to work alongside the safe scaling of frontier AI by developers.

The Secretary of State will be joined by members of the UK’s Frontier AI Taskforce – including its Chair, Ian Hogarth – which was launched earlier this year to evaluate the risks of frontier AI models, and by representatives from nations at the cutting-edge of AI development.

Discussions will also look at what national policymakers, the international community, and scientists and researchers can do to manage the risks and harness the opportunities of AI to deliver economic and social benefits around the world.

Day one will conclude with a panel discussion on the transformative opportunities of AI for public good now and in the long-term, with a focus on how it can be used by teachers and students to revolutionise education.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan will also take to the podium to deliver closing remarks to delegates, as the curtain falls on what is hoped will be an historic first day of the first ever global AI Safety Summit.

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