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UK's Sunak says AI risks must be addressed, ahead of key safety summit

LONDON: Governments and companies need to address the risks of artificial intelligence head on if they are to reap the benefits, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will say in a speech on Thursday, ahead of the first global AI Safety Summit next week.

Britain is bringing together AI companies, political leaders and experts at Bletchley Park on Nov. 1-2 to discuss what some see as an existential danger posed by AI, with an aim of building an international consensus on its safe development.

Sunak wants Britain to be a global leader in AI safety, carving out a role after Brexit between the competing economic blocs of the United States, China and the European Union in the rapidly growing technology.

Around 100 participants will discuss subjects including the unpredictable advances of AI and the potential for humans to lose control of it, according to the agenda.

Sunak will say that while AI will boost economic growth, advance human capability and solve problems once thought beyond us, it also brings new dangers and new fears.

“The responsible thing for me to do is to address those fears head on, giving you the peace of mind that we will keep you safe, while making sure you and your children have all the opportunities for a better future that AI can bring,” he will say, according to extracts released by his office.

The UK government will also publish a report on “frontier” AI, the cutting-edge general-purpose models that the summit will focus on.

The report will inform discussions about risks such as societal harms, misuse and loss of control, the government said.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis are on the guest list.

China is expected to attend, according to a Financial Times report, while European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova has received an invitation.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) economies, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, the United States and the European Union, in May called for adoption of standards to create trustworthy AI and to set up a ministerial forum dubbed the Hiroshima AI process.

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