The UK has announced that China will only be invited to participate in limited portions of an upcoming artificial intelligence summit, according to UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. The decision comes amid concerns raised by the US and other allies over China’s use of AI technology for surveillance and suppression. Hunt defended the inclusion of China, stating that it was important to engage in dialogue and not ignore the world’s second-largest economy.
The summit, originally announced in June by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aims to bring together global tech leaders and position the post-Brexit UK as a central player in the AI safety debate. Although US and EU officials had expressed their preference for China not to be involved, the US National Security Council later stated that the US was fine with China attending the summit.
Hunt’s comments were made ahead of his tour of tech hubs on the US West Coast, where he plans to meet with major American players such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The UK aims to build on its existing startup community and become a major player in the tech industry. Hunt emphasized the need for a pro-innovation regulatory environment that works for startups and challengers.
The UK has set its sights on becoming a world leader in artificial intelligence, with renowned AI company DeepMind already based in the country. The November AI summit, however, has faced tension due to China’s likely participation. Hunt argued that including China was necessary to influence President Xi Jinping’s AI practices and prevent the division of the globe into different regulatory regimes.
“We recognize that the free-world democracies will want to go on a different journey when it comes to AI regulation, because we have different concerns about privacy and we will reflect that in the way that we go forward,” Hunt explained. “But there is a bigger question about China, which we all have to be honest about. China, despite the many things that we disagree with in that regime, is not going to go away. And the choice we have is, do we try and engage constructively where we can?”
The UK’s decision to include China in the AI summit reflects the country’s ambition to strike a balance between the heavily regulated European market and the more lightly regulated US market. It also signifies the UK’s desire to establish itself as a leading force in the tech industry and attract foreign investment.
More detail via Yahoo News here… ( Image via Yahoo News )