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AI Safety Summit: Sunak’s push for UK’s global role

The AI Safety Summit is being held at the historic Bletchley Park Mansion Bletchley Park Trust
The AI Safety Summit is being held at the historic Bletchley Park Mansion
  • British prime minister heavily invested in AI
  • Sector could contribute £400bn to UK by 2030
  • Bletchley Park Summit welcomes global leaders

British prime minister Rishi Sunak’s promise to plan the AI Safety Summit 2023 in less than six months was more than simply an effort to establish the UK as a pioneer in a rapidly developing area.

Sunak envisions the UK as a global leader in AI safety, aiming to secure a significant role in the evolving landscape of economic competition between the United States, China and the European Union.

Earlier this year, the government announced its plans to invest more than £100 million in an AI task force and launch AI scholarships, emphasising the importance of research, education and international collaboration.

It has also allocated £117 million to support 12 new centres for doctoral training in AI.

With significant investments, AI could contribute £400 billion by 2030 to the UK’s economy, resulting in an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent, a report from Google showed.

The event is being held at the historic Bletchley Park on November 1-2. The AI Safety Summit 2023 will bring together government officials, leading artificial intelligence companies, civil society groups and experts from around the world.

The summit’s primary focus will be on so-called “frontier AI” models – in other words, the advanced large language models, or LLMs, like those developed by companies such as OpenAI.

The event has attracted about 100 guests, including world leaders, tech company executives, academics and representatives of relevant foundations.

Some world leaders, such as US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, have opted not to participate.

However, key figures such as US vice president Kamala Harris, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and a Chinese government delegation from the Ministry of Science and Technology are set to join the discussions. 

Representatives from the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also expected to attend.

‘Transformative potential’

Leading figures from prominent AI companies, such as Mircosft’s Brad Smith, Google DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis, Sam Altman of OpenAI, Tesla’s Elon Musk and representatives from Alibaba and Tencent, will also be present. 

“AI stands as a beacon of transformative potential, promising socio-economic benefits and innovative solutions to pressing global challenges,” said Marjorie Chorlins, senior vice president for Europe at the US Chamber of Commerce.

“The commitment shown in convening such critical discussions underscores the importance of AI in our shared future”.

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