Senior Director, Europe
Head, U.S.-UK Business Council
Director, Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC)
November 16, 2023
As the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in national and economic security and geopolitics expands, leading AI nations have recognized the need for concerted action to shape the global regulatory landscape around this transformative technology as it evolves at lightning-speed.
UK Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary of State Michelle Donelan’s visit to the U.S. this week marks the latest action from one of the world’s AI leaders to address the importance of global collaboration in this shared endeavor.
This follows the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosting senior officials from several nations for its first AI Safety Summit earlier this month at the iconic Bletchley Park, known for vital codebreaking work during WWII. The summit was timely, coming as it did on the heels of President Biden’s recent AI Executive Order and G7 principles, as well as work underway in Brussels on the EU AI Act. The summit marked a significant moment for international discourse and potential collaboration on AI safety and ethics, yielding a final communique known as the 'Bletchley Declaration.'
What is the Bletchley Declaration?
The Bletchley Declaration garnered the support of 28 countries in affirming commitments to safe and ethical AI development. This document reflects a collective will to address AI's potential to both empower and disrupt. It also outlines international cooperation measures to tackle existential risks. Central to this initiative is the priority given to establishing a global network for scientific research on frontier AI safety issues, bolstered by newly founded AI Safety Institutes in the UK and the U.S.
However, for U.S. business, the Summit's outcomes stopped short of offering the precision needed for navigating high-risk AI applications in business. The absence of concrete compliance guidelines leaves industries grappling with uncertainty. The declaration's broad strokes need to be distilled into actionable strategies, and a robust plan for international alignment remains undeveloped. Such detail is crucial for U.S. businesses to adapt and thrive within the evolving AI regulatory landscape.
Implications of the UK AI Safety Summit on U.S. Businesses
The UK summit ushered in a new level of global AI policy discussion. American businesses should look beyond immediate principles to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. As AI policy and ethics continue to evolve, U.S. businesses must navigate a course that aligns with policies still being written, while also maintaining a competitive edge.
Building Momentum for the Chamber’s AI Advocacy
The Chamber continues to champion an AI policy framework conducive to innovation. We stand firm in advocating for protection of data privacy and intellectual property rights, while fostering the ethical progression of AI that is consistent with our democratic values. To position U.S. industries at the forefront of the AI revolution, the Chamber also underscores the importance of strengthening partnerships amongst industry, government, and academia, and heightening AI education and workforce preparedness.
The Future of Global AI Leadership
Global leaders must continue to coordinate to effectively manage AI's rapidly growing impact on society and the economy. Meetings like the UK's AI Safety Summit help to forge consensus and cooperation to ensure everyone benefits from this breakthrough technology.
The Chamber's proactive engagement and advocacy for a balanced regulatory approach will be critical in shaping the future landscape of AI in business and will help guide implementation of the Bletchley Park principles to ensure they align with and advance U.S. interests and support innovation.
The Chamber will also participate in ongoing discussions surrounding the President’s Executive Order, engage on AI legislation under consideration in Congress, and represent U.S. business in international fora, including the April 2024 G7 summit in Italy and future AI convenings in Korea and France. AI holds tremendous promise and presents unique challenges, and the U.S. Chamber will be at the table every step of the way.