UK to host first global summit on artificial intelligence
As the world grapples with the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence, the UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety, the Prime Minister has announced.
Breakthroughs from AI continue to improve our lives – from enabling paralysed people to walk to discovering superbug-killing antibiotics. But the development of AI is extraordinarily fast moving, and this pace of change requires agile leadership.
Last week dozens of leading experts warned about the potential for AI to endanger humanity in similar ways to pandemics or nuclear weapons.
In Washington DC, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of likeminded allies and companies working to develop an international framework to ensure the safe and reliable development and use of AI.
The summit, which will be hosted in the UK this autumn, will consider the risks of AI, including frontier systems, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action. It will also provide a platform for countries to work together on further developing a shared approach to mitigate these risks.
In recent weeks the Prime Minister has discussed this issue with a number of businesspeople and world leaders. This includes all members of the G7 who were united in their ambition to take a shared approach to this issue at the Hiroshima Summit last month.
In May the PM also met the CEOs of the three most advanced frontier AI labs, OpenAI, DeepMind and Anthropic in Downing Street and the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology also hosted a roundtable with senior AI leaders. The work at the AI safety summit will build on recent discussions at the G7, OECD and Global Partnership on AI.
In July the Foreign Secretary will also convene the first ever briefing of the UN Security Council on the opportunities and risks of Artificial Intelligence for international peace and security.
The UK is well-placed to convene discussions on the future of AI. The UK is a world-leader in AI – ranking third behind the US and China. Its AI sector already contributes £3.7 billion to the UK economy and employs 50,000 people across the country.
The country’s departure from the EU also allows it to act more quickly and agilely in response to this rapidly changing market. The UK was one of the first leading nations to set out a blueprint for the safe and responsible development of AI, which will be adaptive to the speed of advances in this technology. And the UK has launched an expert taskforce to help build and adopt the next generation of safe AI, backed by £100 million of funding, alongside a commitment to spend £900 million developing compute capacity, including an exascale supercomputer in the UK.
The Prime Minister said: “AI has an incredible potential to transform our lives for the better. But we need to make sure it is developed and used in a way that is safe and secure.
“Time and time again throughout history we have invented paradigm-shifting new technologies and we have harnessed them for the good of humanity. That is what we must do again.
“No one country can do this alone. This is going to take a global effort. But with our vast expertise and commitment to an open, democratic international system, the UK will stand together with our allies to lead the way.”
Last month, OpenAI and Anthropic opened offices in London, with OpenAI appointing UK firm Faculty as their technical integration partner and announcing the expansion of Google Deepmind under the leadership of Demis Hassabis headquartered in King’s Cross.
Demis Hassabis, CEO & Co-Founder, Google DeepMind said: “AI brings incredible opportunities but also challenges for the world, and international cooperation is essential for ensuring this technology is developed safely and responsibly for the benefit of everyone.
“The Global Summit on AI Safety will play a critical role in bringing together government, industry, academia and civil society, and we’re looking forward to working closely with the UK Government to help make these efforts a success.”
Dario Amodei, CEO and Co-Founder of Anthropic said: “It’s deeply important we make AI safe. There is an enormous amount of work that still needs to be done. So, we commend the Prime Minister for bringing the world together to find answers and have smart conversations.”
Recognising the strength of the UK’s AI expertise, US tech giant Palantir has also announced it will make the UK its new European HQ for AI development. Palantir, which already employs more than 800 people in the UK, has provided many of the world’s most critical enterprises and institutions with foundational architecture for data processing.
Alexander C. Karp, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Palantir Technologies Inc. and chairman of The Palantir Foundation for Defense Policy & International Affairs said: “The ability of institutions to effectively capture the recent advances of artificial intelligence, and in particular large language models, will determine which organizations succeed and ultimately survive over the longer term.
“We are proud to extend our partnership with the United Kingdom, where we employ nearly a quarter of our global workforce. London is a magnet for the best software engineering talent in the world, and it is the natural choice as the hub for our European efforts to develop the most effective and ethical artificial intelligence software solutions available.”
The Prime Minister will meet President Biden in the White House for wide ranging discussions on the UK-US relationship, in particular how they can work together to strengthen the economies and cement their joint leadership in the technologies of the future.
The UK and US are two of the only three countries in the world to have a tech industry valued at more than $1 trillion. This is thanks, in part, to the strength of their universities and research institutions – between them, the countries are home to seven of the world’s top 10 research universities.
The Prime Minister will also announce an increase in the number of scholarships the UK Government funds for students undertaking post-graduate study and research at UK and US universities, enhancing our shared expertise in STEM subjects.
Under the scholarship uplift, the number of Marshall scholarships will increase by 25%, to 50 places a year. The Marshall scheme was established 70 years ago to give high potential Americans the opportunity to study in the UK for two years. Alumni of the programme include two serving Supreme Court Justices, founders of companies including Dolby Labs and LinkedIn, and one Nobel Laureate.
The UK will also fund five new Fulbright scholarships a year – up from the 25 currently funded. The Fulbright programme is predominantly funded by the United States to sponsor international students to study in the US and vice versa. Since the programme launched in 1948, around 15,000 British nationals have studied in the US on Fulbright scholarships.
These new scholarships will focus on STEM-related subjects, boosting the UK and US’ shared expertise in the technologies of the future.
Hugh Milward, Vice-President, External Affairs Microsoft UK said: “The opportunity AI presents us could fundamentally help solve some of society’s greatest problems. But it’s going to require the kind of multi-lateral agreement the Prime Minister is proposing to help create confidence and address the challenges AI also presents.”
Dr Marc Warner, CEO of Faculty, said: “The potential for this technology is breathtaking but we need to make sure that it’s rolled out in a human first and safe way.
“This will require technological leadership and the ability to foster international collaboration; both of which the UK is perfectly placed to provide.”