The United Kingdom chaired the inaugural AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park on November 1-2, 2023. I was particularly interested first, because of the importance of AI in education, and secondly as I have spent time at Bletchley Park and its significant history. My blog post shares my experiences.
The summit aimed to address the safe development of advanced AI technology. The participating countries consented to the Bletchley Declaration on AI safety, marking a significant agreement acknowledging the shared perspectives on the opportunities and risks of AI, emphasizing the necessity for collaborative action on AI safety. Discussions involved a wide array of representatives from various sectors, highlighting the urgent need for a global consensus on AI safety. An agreement was reached to support the creation of an independent and comprehensive ‘State of the Science’ Report, to be led by renowned scientist Yoshua Bengio, a recipient of the Turing Award.
Furthermore, some countries, along with frontier AI developers, recognized the importance of governmental involvement in testing the next generation of AI models before their release. This process will involve partnerships with AI Safety Institutes to ensure responsible and safe AI deployment. The summit also touched upon more ambitious policies concerning AI safety, with plans to continue discussions on these matters in subsequent AI Safety Summits, hosted by the Republic of Korea and France
The Bletchley Declaration calls for global cooperation on tackling the risks, which include potential breaches to privacy and the displacement of jobs.
Signed by 28 countries and the EU, it also says AI should be kept “safe, in such a way as to be human-centric, trustworthy and responsible”.
Dr Caitlin Bentley, AI education lecturer at King’s College London, said the declaration was an “important milestone” in promoting the “responsible AI development”.
However, she said more investment in AI education was needed to ensure “AI is not only responsible, but equitable in its effects” with the benefits felt by all. Oh so true!
News report on the summit: