Not to be outdone by Yanks, on the first two days of November the U.K. will host a global “AI Safety Summit” to explore realistic options for regulating AI.  

The European Union already has proposed a set of rules for AI developers; China has implemented an initial set of regulations; the U.S. has begun thinking about setting rules of its own.  

Groups including the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, the G7 and G20 groups of nations, and individual countries’ governments already are at work drafting regulations that they hope will maximize AI’s benefits while minimizing its damage.

In contrast, the U.K.’s summit is attempting to bring together governments, technologists, and the private sector to hash out AI’s possible dangers and outline a global framework for regulations to ensure worst-case scenarios can’t come to pass.

The summit also will discuss AI’s potential for improving medical care, transportation, and enhancing humans’ quality of life in general.

Michelle Donelan, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, outlined five objectives for the summit:

  • Developing a shared understanding of the risks posed by AI and the necessity for immediate action.
  • Establishing a process for international collaboration around AI safety, including supporting national and international frameworks.
  • Determining appropriate measures for individual organizations to enhance AI safety.
  • Identifying areas for potential collaboration in AI safety research, such as evaluating model capabilities and establishing new standards for governance.
  • Demonstrating how the safe development of AI can lead to global benefits.

Appropriately, the summit will convene at Bletchley Park, the secretive locale where Alan Turing and colleagues cracked Nazi codes during World War Two. 

TRENDPOST: The U.K. has the right idea.

Because AI will not respect international boundaries, regulations will be effective only if a majority of nations adopt and enforce shared rules.

The hitch: rogue nations—most notably North Korea and Russia—are unlikely to adopt or abide by any regulatory framework. That will lead to unpermitted or illegal actions by some players. However, a common set of global AI standards will create a yardstick by which outlawed actions can be judged and perpetrating nations can face consequences.

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