World’s first AI summit begins at Bletchley Park, with PM Rishi Sunak, US Vice-President Kamala Harris, Elon Musk among those attending
The UK is hosting the first ever AI Safety Summit on 1, 2 November 2023, attended by leading nations, AI experts and business leaders.
The event is being held at Bletchley Park, the home of the UK’s second world war codebreakers and the birthplace of modern computing. The summit will discuss the global future of artificial intelligence (AI) and work towards a shared understanding of its risks.
And the event is being attended by high profile figures, nations and organisations, after the UK under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had agreed with President Biden in June to host an international summit on the risks and regulation of AI.
AI Safety Summit: Attendees
Nations attending the summit include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Republic of the Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
Organisations attending include Amazon Web Services, Anthropic, ARM, Darktrace, Google DeepMind, Google, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, OpenAI (ChatGPT), Salesforce, Samsung Electronics, Sony, techUK, and Tencent.
Meta is being represented by former UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who is now Meta’s president of global affairs.
OpenAI is represented by its CEO Sam Altman.
Others attending include the Council of Europe, European Commission, Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UNESCO, and the United Nations.
And high profile politicians and public figures are also attending including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, US Vice-President Kamala Harris, European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, China’s tech vice minister Wu Zhaohui, and United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
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Also attending is Elon Musk, as well as two of the three “godfathers” of modern AI, Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, both of whom are concerned about the pace of development in AI and believe the risk of extinction from the technology equals the threat from pandemics and nuclear war.
Fellow “AI godfather”, Yann LeCun – now chief AI scientist at Meta, does not share their fears, and is not thought to be attending.
AI Safety Summit: Objectives
The world’s first ever AI Safety Summit is happening whilst there is no broad-based global regulations focusing on AI safety.
That said, some governments have started drawing up their own rules. For instance, the European Union has written the first set of legislation governing its use for the bloc.
Prior to that in March the UK government set out its plan to regulate the AI sector and proposed five principles to guide its use via its “adaptable” AI plan.
According to the summit agenda, there will be a series of roundtable discussions on threats posed by future developments in AI. Topics include how AI systems might be weaponised by hackers, or used by terrorists to build bioweapons, as well as the technology’s potential to gain sentience and the threat that poses to humanity.
Prior to the AI Safety Summit, this week US President Joe Biden issued an executive order on AI on Monday.
The G7 group of countries have also published voluntary guidelines for advanced AI development.
Last week, the United Nations announced it had formed its own AI advisory board – made up of a few experts from industry, research, and different governments.
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