Sunak AI Safety Summit fails if no regulation of sectors begins

Rishi Sunak will miss a golden opportunity to take the lead on artificial intelligence regulation at the first AI safety summit, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.

The comments from deVere Group’s Nigel Green come as the UK Prime Minister is reportedly drafting a communique at the Bletchley Park event to be signed by politicians and leaders at the summit from Canada, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the US, China and the EU.

Tech executives, including OpenAI chief Sam Altman and Elon Musk, head of X, formerly Twitter, and leading tech academics from around the world are also in attendance.

Away from the summit, US Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech in London about her government’s response to AI, days after US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the issue.

The deVere CEO notes: “The summit is a major part of the UK’s bid to shape global rules and scrutiny for AI. It’s being described as a legacy-defining moment for the UK PM Rishi Sunak.

“However, Sunak is missing a golden opportunity to really take the lead on one of the most important issues of our time.

“While there’s much talk and debate about the potential for serious, catastrophic harm posed by advanced or frontier AI technology, and even an existential risk to humanity in the coming decades, the talk stops short of urging governments to impose specific regulations.

“To be blunt, there is no AI safety without AI regulation of certain sectors, including the financial one. Both need to go hand-in-hand.”

Nigel Green continues: “The need for regulation in this sector is no longer a matter of debate; it is a necessity to protect consumers and businesses, to ensure fairness and equality, and to maintain the stability of markets and economies, and the global financial system. 

“While regulations should strike a balance to avoid stifling innovation, it’s time for governments and regulatory bodies to collaborate with industry stakeholders to draft and implement comprehensive AI global regulations that will shape the future of financial services. This could have been the event to get the ball rolling.”

AI, being a borderless technology, requires global cooperation and agreement on standards and principles – not just on wider safety issues but on specific regulatory ones, too. 

The summit should have aimed to bring together nations and financial regulators to create a cohesive framework for AI regulation for certain key sectors. Unfortunately, the lack of consensus is likely to lead to fragmented approaches, with each nation continuing to develop its own rules and guidelines.

“The AI Summit held enormous potential to establish a global leadership position in regulating AI within specific industries, including the financial industry. 

“To be clear: there’s no AI safety without AI regulation of specific sectors.”

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