Next AI summit to be hosted by UK and South Korea in May

The UK and South Korea will lead the next round of global discussions on artificial intelligence safety during a two-day summit in May.

The AI Seoul Summit will combine virtual meetings with in-person discussions in the South Korean capital, and serves as the follow-up to the AI Safety Summit held at Bletchley Park in November.

Confirmed for May 21 and 22, the first day of the summit will see Prime Minister Rishi Sunak co-chair a virtual leaders’ meeting with Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol, before Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Korean minister of science and ICT Lee Jong-Ho co-host in-person meetings on the second day.

The Government confirmed that a select number of global industry leaders would also be invited to the summit, where they would be asked to provide updates on how they were fulfilling the commitments made during the AI Safety Summit last year around the safety of their AI models.

These commitments included allowing AI safety institutes around the world to test and examine new AI models before they were released to the public.

The previous summit also saw attendees sign the Bletchley Declaration, which pledged countries to develop AI in a safe, trustworthy and responsible manner.

While in attendance at that summit, tech billionaire Elon Musk said the gathering was “timely” as he believed AI was “one of the biggest threats” to humanity.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said she was looking forward to building on the ‘Bletchley effect’ (Lucy North/PA)

“The summit we held at Bletchley Park in November was a generational moment,” Ms Donelan said.

“We agreed the historic Bletchley Declaration and have ensured discussions around AI safety are firmly on the international agenda.

“If we continue to bring international governments and a broad range of voices together, I have every confidence that we can continue to develop a global approach which will allow us to realise the transformative potential of this generation-defining technology safely and responsibly.

“I am looking forward to building on the ‘Bletchley effect’ with this next round of talks in the Republic of Korea, who are perfectly placed with their rich history of technological innovation to advance the global conversation on AI safety.”

The summit will take place at a key time for the AI industry, with new, more powerful AI models expected to be released over the course of 2024.

Alongside the new discussions on the sector, the first iteration of the International Scientific Report on Advanced AI Safety report will be published, offering a major scientific examination of AI safety around the globe.

Mr Lee said: “The AI Safety Summit held in Bletchley, UK, last year marked a milestone in which the government, industry and academia coming together to address the potential risks of AI, and I am pleased that the Republic of Korea takes the baton from the UK.

“AI is advancing at an unprecedented pace that exceeds our expectations, and it is crucial to establish global norms and governance to harness such technological innovations to enhance the welfare of humanity.

“We hope that the AI Seoul Summit will serve as an opportunity to strengthen global co-operation on not only AI safety but also AI innovation and inclusion, and promote sustainable AI development.”