Artificial Intelligence

AI Seoul Summit set for two days of talks

7th May 2024
Paige West

International governments, companies, academia, and civil society are set to convene later this month at the AI Seoul Summit, following the unveiling of its agenda.

The Summit, a collaborative effort between the UK and the Republic of Korea, will kick off with a virtual leaders' session on 21st May, featuring opening remarks by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

This event builds on the momentum of the UK’s AI Safety Summit held last November at Bletchley Park, where pivotal commitments were made to ensure the safety of AI models. A select group of industry leaders have been invited to report on their progress regarding these commitments. These updates are particularly timely, given the anticipation of new, powerful AI systems expected to launch later this year.

The discussions will continue on the 22nd May with an in-person meeting of Digital Ministers in Seoul, co-hosted by UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Korean Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong-Ho. Scheduled to start at 6:20am UK time (14:20 KST), the ministers will engage in a two-hour session to address emerging risks associated with current and upcoming AI models. They will also review the activities of AI Safety Institutes since their inception at Bletchley Park, noting significant developments such as the recent launch of a public testing body in the US, created in partnership with the UK.

The summit’s focus on the next generation of AI technologies highlights the critical timing of these discussions, as more sophisticated AI models are expected to emerge throughout 2024. The agenda also includes a session on ‘Approach for Sustainability and Resilience’, led by Secretary Donelan and Minister Lee, slated for 8:40am-9:40am UK time (16:40-17:40 KST). This discussion will specifically address strategies to mitigate potential negative impacts of AI, such as bias and the spread of misinformation.

Details regarding the attendees of the summit will be confirmed soon, with the in-person ministers' session expected to draw representatives from 30 countries and the European Union, all of whom are contributors to the International AI Safety Report. Additionally, influential figures from industry, academia, and civil society are anticipated to participate.

The International AI Safety Report, first announced at the Bletchley Park Summit under the leadership of Turing Prize winner Yoshua Bengio, will play a crucial role in informing the discussions. An interim version of the report will be available to guide the deliberations across both days of the summit, providing a foundation for ongoing international collaboration in AI safety and regulation.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan said: “Our ground-breaking Summit held at Bletchley Park in November has put vital discussions on AI safety at the top of the international agenda, and the AI Seoul Summit represents the next step in how we can capitalise on that momentum to build an enduring AI safety legacy.

“AI is the defining technology of our generation. As our first Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, I am determined the AI Seoul Summit will both cement the UK’s place as an AI safety superpower, and fuel the wider global drive towards responsible AI development.”

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