As a permanent member of the UNSC and current Presidency holder for the month of July, the UK will today chair the first ever briefing session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the UNSC, taking place ahead of the inaugural global AI safety summit in the UK later this year.
Image courtesy Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / gov.uk
As a permanent member of the UNSC and current Presidency holder for the month of July, the UK will today chair the first ever briefing session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the UNSC, taking place ahead of first ever global AI safety summit in the UK later this year.
Taking place in the Security Council Chamber in New York, the high-level briefing will discuss the potential implications of AI on international peace and security and how to promote its safe and responsible use.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will chair the session and invite remarks from António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jack Clark, co-founder of leading AI company Anthropic and Professor Zeng Yi, Director of the Brain-inspired Cognitive Intelligence Lab and co-Director of the China-UK Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance.
During the session Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (above) will emphasise that no country will be untouched by AI, so we must involve and engage the widest coalition of international actors from all sectors. He will consider the opportunities and challenges of AI lying ahead which we collectively need to grasp – including those for international peace and security – decisively, optimistically and from a position of global unity on essential principles.
Rapid developments in AI technologies have the capacity to fundamentally transform our societies and the way we live and work. Global cooperation will be vital to ensure AI technologies and the rules governing their use are developed responsibly in a way that benefits society.
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Chloe Smith, said: "The UK chairing the first ever briefing session on AI at the United Nations Security Council is an important milestone – of all the many issues discussed in the Council Chamber over the years, AI is among the most profound.
"We are at the heart of the global conversation on AI. Later this year, the UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety to agree targeted, rapid, internationally coordinated action, allowing us to safely realise the huge opportunities of artificial intelligence.
"AI can help grow our economy and deliver better public services, and working with our global partners will ensure the right guardrails are in place for its safe and responsible development."
Last month, the Prime Minister announced the UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety. The summit will consider the risks of AI, particularly at the frontier of the technology, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action. It will also provide a platform for countries to work together on further developing a shared approach to mitigate these risks.
The UK is in the vangaurd of AI developments and well-placed to convene discussions on the future of AI – ranking third globally across several metrics. The country's AI sector is estimated to contribute £3.7 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy and employs over 50,000 people, developing AI solutions across all sectors of the British economy.
The UK has a long history of leadership in AI. In 2016, the UK initiated an international discussion on AI principles with G7 counterparts, paving the way for the 2019 OECD AI Recommendations and in 2020, the UK supported the launch of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), becoming a founding member. Following the publication of the National AI Strategy in September 2021, the UK published the AI Regulation White Paper in March 2023, setting out a context-based, proportionate and adaptable approach to regulating AI.
Most recently, the UK has launched an expert Foundation Model Taskforce to drive forward the safe and reliable development of Foundation Models while seizing the extraordinary opportunities they present. The Taskforce is backed by an initial £100 million of funding. A key focus for the Taskforce in the coming months will be taking forward cutting-edge safety research in the run up to the first global summit on AI safety to be hosted in the UK this autumn.
The renowned tech investor, entrepreneur and AI specialist Ian Hogarth has been announced as the chair of the Government’s Foundation Model Taskforce, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Technology Secretary.
A leading authority on AI, Ian has co-authored the annual State of AI report since 2018 on the progress of AI. Ian is also a visiting professor at University College London and he has a strong background in tech entrepreneurship as the founder of the start-up Songkick and the venture capital fund Plural.
The appointment brings a wealth of experience to developing this technology responsibly, which underpins the Government’s AI strategy and follows the launch of the AI White Paper.