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Swindon-based BCS responds to signing of historic Bletchley Declaration on AI

Swindon-based BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has welcomed the signing of The Bletchley Declaration on AI safety today (Wednesday).

World leaders and business gurus have been gathering at Bletchley Park today for the world’s first AI Safety Summit.

The summit – hosted by the UK government and attended by Prime Minister and tech enthusiast Rishi Sunak and Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter) – saw the signing of The Bletchley Declaration, a new global effort to unlock the enormous benefits offered by AI – by ensuring it remains safe.

Open AI’s Sam Altman and Meta’s Nick Clegg, formerly leader of the UK Liberal Democrats, are also expected to attend, alongside around 100 world leaders and representatives of some of the world’s biggest tech firms, including Amazon, Google, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, and Open AI.

The summit runs until Thursday.

Bletchley, near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, played a crucial role in the breaking of the German Enigma Code during the Second World War. At the forefront of technological advances since, it was seen as the perfect venue for a global summit on AI.

Ahead of the summit, the government announced a £118 million boost to skills funding, aimed at ensuring the UK has the top global expertise and fosters the next generation of researchers needed to seize the transformational benefits of this technology.

Twelve Centres for Doctoral Training in AI – which includes a facility at the University of Bristol – were confirmed.

Reacting to The Bletchley Declaration, Rashik Parmar, CEO of Swindon-based BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said: “The declaration takes a more positive view of the potential of AI to transform our lives than many thought, and that’s also important to build public trust.

“I’m also pleased to see a focus on AI issues that are a problem today – particularly disinformation, which could result in ‘personalised fake news’ during the next election – we believe this is more pressing than speculation about existential risk.

“The emphasis on global co-operation is vital, to minimise differences in how countries regulate AI.

“After the summit, we would like to see government and employers insisting that everyone working in a high-stakes AI role is a licensed professional and that they and their organisations are held to the highest ethical standards.

“It’s also important that CEOs who make decisions about how AI is used in their organisation, are held to account as much as the AI experts; that should mean they are more likely to heed the advice of technologists.

“We also need to see a greater emphasis on the role of AI in education because young people have the right to be taught about its capabilities, risks and potential to ensure they can thrive in life and work.”

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