AI summit: ‘Bletchley declaration’ agreed by 28 countries 

UK summit on all things artificial intelligence kicks off with landmark agreement on the opportunities and risks posed by AI. 

After months of preparation, representatives from leading nations, companies and enterprises working in AI have arrived in Bletchley Park for the summit to discuss the future of AI technology. To get things started, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a shared understanding between 28 countries on that those opportunities and risks might be – the so-called ‘Bletchley declaration’.

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The declaration underlines the urgent need to understand and collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort that will ensure AI is developed and deployed in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of everyone. 

It also outlines the potential for what it calls ‘serious, even catastrophic harm, either deliberate or intentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.’ There are, of course, concerns over the risks from AI as it impacts cybersecurity, biotechnology and disinformation, and in issues related to bias and privacy. 

Those endorsing the declaration include Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. They have agreed to collaborate in supporting a network of scientific research on the safety of ‘Frontier AI’. Indeed, as a sign of this commitment to working together, the Republic of Korea has agreed to co-host a virtual summit on AI in the next six months. France will then host an in-person summit in a year. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says: ‘This is a landmark achievement that sees the world’s greatest AI powers agree on the urgency behind understanding the risks of AI – helping ensure the long-term future of our children and grandchildren. 

‘Under the UK’s leadership, more than 25 countries at the AI Safety Summit have stated a shared responsibility to address AI risks and take forward vital international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research. 

‘The UK is once again leading the world at the forefront of this new technological frontier by kickstarting this conversation, which will see us work together to make AI safe and realise all its benefits for generations to come.’ 

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, adds: ‘Today’s agreement signed by attendees from across the globe, offers an important first step as we begin 2 days of vitally important discussions here at Bletchley Park.    

‘We have always said that no single country can face down the challenges and risks posed by AI alone, and today’s landmark Declaration marks the start of a new global effort to build public trust by ensuring the technology’s safe development. 

‘Bletchley Park marks the start of a long road ahead, and the Summit will kickstart an enduring process to ensure every nation and every citizen can realise the boundless benefits of AI.’ 

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