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Jun 08, 2023

UK to take reigns on AI and host global summit

Summit will initiate conversations around potential risks from AI

The UK is set to host its first global summit on artificial intelligence (AI), bringing together tech companies and industry leaders for the first time.

The government announced that the summit will be co-ordinated between the UK and the US and will focus on understanding the emerging challenges AI technology may pose for the world. It will be hosted this fall and will consider the risks of AI, including frontier systems with discussions targeted around how they can be mitigated through internationally co-ordinated action.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says ‘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.’

Dario Amodei, CEO and co-founder of Anthropic, which opened an office in London last month, says: ‘It’s deeply important we make AI safe. There is an enormous amount of work that still needs to be done.’

Corporate response to AI

Addressing the rise of AI, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy recently told shareholders the firm expects to be the next leader in generative AI.

Speaking at the firm’s virtual AGM, held on Wednesday, May 24, Jassy told investors the company is at the very early stages of using generative AI and expects it to offer ‘high potential’ to both customers and the business. Over the last nine months there had been a new inflection point for generative AI within Amazon, Jassy remarked. ‘It’s still very early days, but it’s moving quickly,’ he said.

UK to take reigns on AI and host global summit
Andy Jassy, Amazon

Notably, Google owner Alphabet was recently criticized by investors at its virtual AGM for its lack of transparency in relation to AI. At the AGM, held on June 1, shareholder Trillium Asset Management, on behalf of the John Hancock ESG Large Cap Core Fund, asked the board to go ‘above and beyond’ its existing disclosures and provide more quantitative and qualitative information on its algorithmic systems.

Promoting fairness, accountability and transparency in AI is ‘central to its utility and safety to society,’ Trillium said in its proposal.

‘Disrupts the level playing field’

The debate on whether companies should use AI has drawn mixed results. Bart Verhulst, co-founder and head of IR services at PressPage, a technology provider for social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs, questions whether it is fair to use it.

‘For people tuning in to analyst calls or an AGM, for example, do they know whether AI is being let loose?’ he asks. ‘AI parties can react faster and more accurately to situations, in my opinion, so it disrupts the level playing field. But the real question is: does AI really provide such a huge advantage that it could become dangerous? I think it could.’