The United Kingdom has appointed tech expert Matt Clifford and former senior diplomat Jonathan Black to lead preparations for this year’s worldwide summit on artificial intelligence (AI).
According to the government, the two will gather political leaders, AI businesses, and experts ahead of the event this autumn.
In June, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak positioned Britain as a potential global leader in ensuring the safety of the rapidly evolving technology, saying he wanted the UK to be both the intellectual and geographical home of AI legislation.
Clifford, co-founder and CEO of investment firm Entrepreneur First, told Reuters that he believed the summit will set the tone for future international debates on artificial intelligence governance.
“You can think of this as a genuine summit – where really crunchy discussions will take place – to try to agree on a shared understanding of the risks, and as a platform for working together on mitigating them,” he said.
Clifford stated that the UK’s credentials to be a world leader in AI were extremely evident, citing the success of London-based Deep Mind.
“But this is not about saying the UK has the one right approach that we want all countries to adopt,” he said. “There are going to be many areas of AI policy where each country needs to adopt whatever works best for them.”
Governments around the world are wrestling with how to control the potential negative consequences of AI without stifling innovation.
Sunak’s government has yet to name a specific date for the event or set out who is likely to attend.
The European Union has taken a lead with its proposed AI Act, which it hopes will become a global benchmark for the booming technology.
Other countries, however, favour a wait-and-see approach or are leaning towards a more flexible regulatory regime.
Britain has opted to split regulatory responsibility for AI between those bodies that oversee competition, human rights and health and safety, rather than creating a new body dedicated to the technology.
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economies, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the United States and the European Union, in May called for adoption of standards to create trustworthy AI and to set up a ministerial forum dubbed the Hiroshima AI process.