The UK government has laid out its five ambitions for the upcoming AI Safety Summit, due to be held at Bletchley Park at the start of November.

First announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in June during a visit to Washington to meet with US President Joe Biden, the summit aims to bring together government officials, AI companies, and researchers at Bletchley Park to consider the risks and development of AI technologies and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action.

In March, the UK government published a white paper outlining its AI strategy, stating it was seeking to avoid what it called “heavy-handed legislation,” and will instead call on existing regulatory bodies to use current regulations to ensure that AI applications adhere to guidelines, rather than draft new laws.

Regulators are expected to start issuing practical guidance to organizations in coming months, handing out risk assessment templates and setting out how to implement the government’s principles of safety, security and robustness; transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress.

“The UK looks forward to working closely with global partners on these issues to make frontier AI safe, and to ensure nations and citizens globally can realise its benefits, now and in the future,” the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said in a statement, adding that the five objectives outlined by the department build upon “initial stakeholder consultation and evidence-gathering and will frame the discussion at the summit.”

The term “frontier AI” is defined in a July 2023 academic paper by Anderljung et al as “highly capable foundation models that could exhibit dangerous capabilities.” Foundation models are a kind of generative AI, and the dangers that the next generation of such models might pose include “significant physical harm or the disruption of key societal functions on a global scale, resulting from intentional misuse or accident,” the paper’s authors warned.

The five objectives of the UK government’s summit are:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the risks posed by frontier AI and the need for action
  • Put forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety, including how best to support national and international frameworks
  • Propose appropriate measures which individual organisations should take to increase frontier AI safety
  • Identify areas for potential collaboration on AI safety research, including evaluating model capabilities and the development of new standards to support governance
  • Showcase how ensuring the safe development of AI will enable AI to be used for good globally.

The full list of invitees has yet to be announced.

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