james cleverly foreign secretary

This is an historic​​ meeting – the first discussion of Artificial Intelligence at the UN ​ Security Council.

Since the early development of Artificial Intelligence by pioneers like Alan Turing and Christopher Strachey, this technology has advanced with ever greater speed.

​​​​​​​Yet the biggest AI-induced transformations are still to come.

Their scale is impossible for us to comprehend fully.

But the gains to humanity will surely be immense.

AI will fundamentally alter every aspect of human life. Ground-breaking discoveries in medicine may be just around the corner. The productivity boost to our economies may be vast. AI may help us adapt to climate change, beat corruption, revolutionise education, deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and reduce violent conflict.

But we are here today because AI will affect the work of this Council.

It could enhance or disrupt global strategic stability.

It challenges our fundamental assumptions about defence and deterrence.

It poses moral questions about accountability for lethal decisions on the battlefield.

There can already be no doubt that AI changes the speed, scale and spread of disinformation with hugely harmful consequences for democracy and stability.

AI could aid the reckless quest for weapons of mass destruction by state and non-state actors alike. But it could also help us stop proliferation.

That’s why we urgently need to shape the global governance of transformative technologies.

Because AI knows no borders.

The UK’s vision is founded on 4 irreducible principles:

  • open: AI should support freedom and democracy

  • responsible: AI should be consistent with the rule of law and human rights

  • secure: AI should be safe and predictable by design; safeguarding property rights, privacy and national security

  • resilient: AI should be trusted by the public and critical systems must be protected

​The UK’s approach builds on existing multilateral initiatives, such as the AI for Good Summit in Geneva, or the work of UNESCO, the OECD and the G20.

Institutions like the Global Partnership for AI, the G7’s Hiroshima Process, the Council of Europe, and the International Telecommunication Union are all important partners.

Pioneering AI companies will also need to work with us so we can capture the gains and minimise the risks to humanity.

No country will be untouched by AI, so we must involve and engage the widest coalition of international actors from all sectors.

The UK is home to many of the world’s trail-blazing AI developers and foremost AI safety researchers.

So this autumn the UK plans to bring world leaders together for the first major global summit on AI safety.

Our shared goal will be to consider the risks of AI and decide how they can be reduced through coordinated action.

Momentous opportunities – on a scale that we can barely imagine – lie before us.

We must seize these opportunities and grasp the challenges of AI – including those for international peace and security – decisively, optimistically and from a position of global unity on essential principles.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads to fortune”.

In that spirit, let us work together to ensure peace and security as we pass across the threshold of an unfamiliar world.

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