UK government shares AI Safety Summit goals

As AI development continues apace, the UK government will gather together international stakeholders to discuss potential benefits and pitfalls.

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The UK government has shared its ambitions for the AI Safety Summit, which will bring together key countries, technology organisations, academia and civil society to plan national and international action on AI development later this year.

The summit, which will take place on November 1 and 2, will focus on risks created or exacerbated by powerful AI systems – particularly those associated with the potentially dangerous capabilities of these systems, like access to information that could undermine biosecurity. 

The event will also focus on how AI can be safely used for public good and to improve people’s lives, spanning a wide breadth of sectors exploring life-saving medical technology to safer transport.

The UK government has formed five objectives that build upon initial stakeholder consultation and evidence-gathering and frame discussion at the summit. These are:

  • A shared understanding of the risks posed by frontier AI and the need for action;
  • A forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety, including how best to support national and international framework;
  • Appropriate measures that individual organisations should take to increase frontier AI safety;
  • Areas for potential collaboration on AI safety research, including evaluating model capabilities and the development of new standards to support governance; and
  • Showcase how ensuring the safe development of AI will enable AI to be used for good globally.

The summit will build on existing efforts by agreeing practical next steps to address risks from frontier AI. This will include further discussions on how to operationalise risk-mitigation measures at AI organisations, assessment of the most important areas for international collaboration to support safe frontier AI, and a roadmap for long-term action.

What does AI mean for SMEs?

AI creates both opportunity and risk for SMEs. Many argue that adopting AI into your business early will actually future-proof your business, with investing in AI training, adopting ethical practices and maintaining human oversight all being flagged as key attributes to a successful integration with AI.

Others are less optimistic. Some believe that AI will take over business operations and mean people lose their jobs – but with the data skills gap remaining wide open and hiring challenges ongoing, it’s easy to see why SMEs are open to trialing it.

GenerativeAI is perhaps the simplest way for SMEs to trial if AI works for them. Platforms like ChatGPT can generate content like text and images with just a few prompts. 

The opportunity may seem exciting for cash-strapped SMEs, but big businesses like Samsung and Apple have actually banned the use of generative AI over data concerns after ChatGPT experienced a bug that temporarily exposed chat histories and payment information to other users on the service.

AI is a new technology that we’re all still getting our heads around, especially now its use cases seem to be constantly growing. With careful implementation, it could prove fruitful for your business – but caution is key.

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Kirstie Pickering - business journalist

Kirstie is a freelance journalist writing in the tech, startup and business spaces for publications including Sifted, TNW, UKTN, The Business Magazine and Maddyness UK. She also works closely with agencies such as CEW Communications to develop content for their startup and scaleup clients.

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