British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is on a visit to the US, on Thursday announced plans for a first-ever global summit on artificial intelligence (AI) later this year, bringing together key countries, leading tech companies and researchers to agree on safety measures to evaluate and monitor AI's most significant risks.
While participating countries have not been confirmed by Downing Street at this stage, India is likely to be among the countries as Sunak stressed the importance of like-minded allies and companies working together to develop an international framework to ensure the safe and reliable development and use of AI.
The summit, which will be hosted in the UK this autumn, will consider the risks of AI, including frontier systems, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action. It will also provide a platform for countries to work together on further developing a shared approach to mitigate these risks.
“AI has an incredible potential to transform our lives for the better. But we need to make sure it is developed and used in a way that is safe and secure,” said Sunak.
“Time and time again throughout history we have invented paradigm-shifting new technologies, and we have harnessed them for the good of humanity. That is what we must do again. No one country can do this alone. This is going to take a global effort. But with our vast expertise and commitment to an open, democratic international system, the UK will stand together with our allies to lead the way,” he said.
Downing Street pointed out that in recent weeks, Sunak has discussed this issue with a number of businesspeople and world leaders, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and that the work at the AI safety summit will build on recent discussions at the G7 Summit in Japan.
In July, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will also convene the first-ever briefing of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on the opportunities and risks of AI for international peace and security.
“The UK is well-placed to convene discussions on the future of AI. The UK is a world leader in AI – ranking third behind the US and China. Our AI sector already contributes GBP 3.7 billion to the UK economy and employs 50,000 people across the country,” Downing Street said.
The announcement comes as US tech giant Palantir announced it will make the UK its new European headquarters for AI development. Palantir, which already employs more than 800 people in the UK, has provided many of the world’s most critical enterprises and institutions with foundational architecture for data processing.
“London is a magnet for the best software engineering talent in the world, and it is the natural choice as the hub for our European efforts to develop the most effective and ethical artificial intelligence software solutions available,” said Alexander C. Karp, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Palantir Technologies Inc.
Meanwhile, Sunak and US President Joe Biden are holding what has been described as wide-ranging discussions on the bilateral relationship in Washington DC with a focus on strengthening both economies and cementing joint leadership in the "technologies of the future".
Sunak also announced an increase in the number of scholarships the UK government funds for students undertaking postgraduate study and research at UK and US universities, enhancing our shared expertise in science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
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