The world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) safety summit, hosted in the UK, will see global leaders in government and technology discuss the potential threats AI poses for elections and national security.
The landmark two day event, beginning on 1 November, follows concern from the UK government claiming AI “could threaten global stability and undermine our values.”
Business leaders, industry experts and politicians are expected to discuss everything from AI’s impact on online safety to its role in equality.
The myriad risks posed by AI require “an urgent international conversation given the rapid pace at which the technology is developing,” according to the UK government.
The UK’s Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, said: “We are setting out a focused plan for the AI Safety Summit to face up to the risks of frontier AI, so together with our partners around the world we can reap the enormous benefits this transformative technology has to offer.
“AI presents an immense opportunity to drive economic growth and transformative breakthroughs in medicine, clean energy, and education.”
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The summit will also include a panel discussing “transformative opportunities of AI for public good” with a particular focus on education.
It was reported in September that around 100 people will be in attendance, split between government officials, technology leaders and academics.
Laura Petrone, principal analyst at research company GlobalData, told Verdict that the summit “will certainly contribute to the UK being part of a critical debate on how to assess the risks of AI and which regulation is fit for purpose.”
In March 2023, the UK government announced that it would be adopting a “pro-innovation” approach to AI.
Unlike China, which introduced a list of stringent rules around controlling content produced by generative AI, the UK has refrained from introducing regulation, so far.
“The UK is shaping its vision of AI, which differs from Brussels, and the summit could be a great chance to promote it globally,” Petrone said.
The challenge for the UK will be to remain relevant in AI “despite the US-China AI rivalry and Europe setting the agenda on regulation,” Petrone said.
Joel Hellermark, CEO and founder of AI-powered learning platform Sana, believes the summit will only be able to cement itself as an authoriative voice in AI if it “truly takes into account the voices of both smaller and larger companies”.
“The UK is already at an advantage because, here, privacy is always top of mind,” Hellermark told Verdict.
Hellermark noted that global AI regulation “is exceptionally tricky to master”.
“There is a risk of over-regulating the industry and making it too expensive for companies to comply,” Hellermark said, “this would unfortunately give big tech a huge advantage and could leave a lot of startups in the dust, eliminating a level playing field.”
“It’s vital that regulators take measures to protect emerging AI companies that are dedicated to solving important innovations in workflows and user needs that might otherwise go unaddressed by larger tech companies,” he added.