The Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton are pleased to share with you their latest Position Paper authored by Ben Hawes and Prof Dame Wendy Hall


The UK’s international Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit has answered some questions and sparked new ones. This is a good moment to reflect on what it delivered, what it didn’t cover, and how to influence development of AI in the future, in the interests of societies globally.

First, it’s great to be able to report that the Summit was in many ways a success, indeed more of a success than many people thought it could be. It was arranged and delivered fast. It had to manage difficult questions about the scope and the invitee list. There were good reasons to fear that it might not be more than a superficial, passing event. It is greatly to the credit of the organisers that it became more than that.

The Summit could also easily have been submerged among other recent developments, because there have been enough of those. The last month has been busy for AI and AI policy, even in the context of a packed year so far.

Immediately before the summit, the United Nations announced a new high-level advisory council on AI, and I’m proud to say that they invited me to be a member.

And then two days before the Summit, the White House issued President Biden’s Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. The order “establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more.”

The Executive order sets out expansive, complex and diverse ambitions for AI in the USA, including on equity, civil rights and impacts on workers. It is a major step forward. The EU AI Act has been the subject of very heated debate within and between EU institutions. It has now passed, though the nature of recent debates shows how difficult it is for legislation to keep up with technology developments. The US had previously made much less ground in comparison on proposals for government action and legislation on AI. That has now changed, and in the UK we will need to track how those ambitions are taken forward in practice, and how potential conflicts between economic and social aspirations are managed.


After the Summit

Progress in public policy on AI