U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced Wednesday that his country plans to host the first global summit on artificial intelligence later this year.
The event aims to bring together countries, tech companies and researchers to discuss safety measures for mitigating risks from AI. The event comes as some experts have continued to warn about the potential dangers of AI to humanity, claiming it presents a similar risk to those of pandemics or nuclear weapons.
One of the key aims of the conference will be to discuss the development and application of an international framework to ensure safe and reliable AI usage. The idea is claimed to be a critical step in developing globally coordinated efforts to manage the accelerating pace of AI technology.
Ahead of the summit, Sunak (pictured) is engaging in discussions with various stakeholders, including Group of Seven members, business leaders and the chief executive officers of major AI labs, including OpenAI LP, Google LLC’s DeepMind Technologies Inc. and Anthropic PBC. The talks are aimed at creating a united front in addressing AI safety and build upon recent discussions at the G7 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Global Partnership on AI.
Sunak is set to meet U.S. President Biden to discuss strengthening the U.K. and U.S. tech leadership. Plans include increasing scholarships for postgraduate study and research at U.K. and U.S. universities, specifically in STEM subjects.
The initial reaction to the summit has been mixed. Politico reported that the U.K. has not said which countries or companies will be invited, outside of saying that the summit aims to bring together “like-minded nations.” That has led some to believe that the real purpose of the summit is to establish an AI alliance against China and Russia.
Which companies will be invited has also been raised, with Palantir mentioned in the press release for the summit. Ars Technica noted today that Palantir Technologies Inc. has been the subject of controversy, given its close ties to military and defense sectors, raising questions about the potential misuse of AI.
Regardless of any hidden agendas, the rapid emergence and adoption of AI is an issue that is worthy of discussion, including among countries at an international level. Thomas Jefferson famously said that “with great risk comes great reward,” but the problem is that outside of sci-fi shows and movies, nobody truly knows how significant a risk AI is and what if any guardrails need to be put in place to balance the risk against the potential rewards.
Photo: Number 10/Wikimedia Commons
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