UK unveils its ambitions in global AI regulation with upcoming safety summit
Beyond an illustrious past and a strong tech sector, claiming leadership in the future of AI and influencing its global regulation with a summit seems like a challenging ambition for the UK.
The UK is trying to position itself as a global leader in AI governance and regulation, aiming to use its past to influence AI’s future. An initiative was unveiled this week during a reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC. This was a preview for the UK AI Safety Summit planned for early November in historic Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing did his early computing research and Enigma codebreaking.
The UK is home to DeepMind, one of the world’s best-known AI companies, and world-renowned English-born AI researcher Geoffrey Hinton was educated at Cambridge. Beyond an illustrious past and a strong tech sector, claiming leadership in the future of AI and influencing its global regulation with a summit seems like a challenging ambition for the UK. In fact, DeepMind has been part of Google for a decade, and Toronto-based Hinton worked until recently for Google Brain.
Furthermore, EU regulators are finalizing an AI Act to oversee a large European market that the UK left almost four years ago.
Why does it matter?
Earlier this year, the UK government shifted its position on AI, publishing a white paper that mainly showcases AI’s benefits rather than the risks it poses. The latest soft power push and ownership of the conversation on AI regulation aims at positioning the post-Brexit nation at the center of the global debate on AI safety. The UK seeks to secure a significant role as a power broker between the lighter US and stricter EU approaches to AI regulation. The UK’s AI Safety Summit is expected to be a significant event with the presence of key global actors, including possibly China.