Balancing Chinas role in the UKs AI agenda

From: Chatham House
Published: Wed Nov 01 2023


The Bletchley Park summit can help the UK assert itself in AI governance. Doing so requires a delicate approach to China.

This week, the UK will convene world leaders, tech executives and a select group of civil society in a two-day summit to discuss artificial intelligence (AI) safety.

One of the topics that generated a great deal of controversy and speculation is China's participation in the summit. The decision to extend an invitation to China has been met with criticism by many, including from the prime minister's own party. Former prime minister Liz Truss wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, urging him to reconsider the invitation.

She emphasized the need to work with allies rather than ‘those seeking to subvert freedom and democracy'. Despite these controversies, the PM maintained his position asserting that there can be ‘no serious strategy for AI without at least trying to engage all of the world's leading AI powers'.

This stance underlines the PM's aspirations for the UK to take a leadership role in global AI governance, while acknowledging China's pivotal position in this endeavour.

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Company: Chatham House

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