Sunak chooses Bletchley Park to host AI summit in November

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak’s AI Safety Summit will be held at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes in November, the Government confirmed today as the Prime Minister seeks to position the UK at centre of global leadership in artificial intelligence.

The conference of AI leaders, which will take place on the 1st and 2nd November, seeks to consider the risks of AI, especially at the frontier of development, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action.

Rishi Sunak said in a statement: “The UK has long been home to the transformative technologies of the future, so there is no better place to host the first ever global AI safety summit than at Bletchley Park this November.

“To fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities of artificial intelligence, we must grip and tackle the risks to ensure it develops safely in the years ahead.

“With the combined strength of our international partners, thriving AI industry and expert academic community, we can secure the rapid international action we need for the safe and responsible development of AI around the world.”

It follows a visit to the US by Sunak in June, in which he unveiled plans for the summit. Speaking at London Tech Week a few days later, the Prime Minister told tech CEOs: “I want to make the UK not just the intellectual home but the geographical home of global AI.”

Russ Shaw, founding partner of London Tech Week, said of Sunak’s speech: “I’m really pleased with his focus on AI and his ambition to make the UK the best country in the world for tech. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Since the start of the year, the UK government has laid out a raft of proposals for tech regulation, including in cryptocurrencies, digital assets and AI technologies.

The AI industry employs over 50,000 people in the UK and contributes £3.7 billion to the economy according to the Government. London is also the home of DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence arm, as well as a flurry of AI startups which have emerged over the past year including AutogenAI and ElevenLabs. But AI leaders, including British computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton, have warned of potential catastrophic consequences of the technology if it is mismanaged.

Bletchley Park was home to allied codebreaking operations during the Second World War, pioneered by mathematician Alan Turing who is considered to be the father of artificial intelligence. Activities at Bletchley Park in the 1940s were dramatized in the 2014 film, The Imitation Game.