Bletchley Park to host global AI safety summit - Destination Milton Keynes
Bletchley Park to host global AI safety summit

Bletchley Park to host global AI safety summit

International governments, leading AI companies and experts in research will unite for crucial talks in November on the safe development and use of frontier AI technology, as the UK Government has announced Bletchley Park as the location for the UK summit.

The major global event will take place on the 1st and 2nd November to consider the risks of AI, especially at the frontier of development, and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action. Frontier AI models hold enormous potential to power economic growth, drive scientific progress and wider public benefits, while also posing potential safety risks if not developed responsibly.

To be hosted at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, a significant location in the history of computer science development and once the home of British Enigma codebreaking – it will see coordinated action to agree a set of rapid, targeted measures for furthering safety in global AI use.

Preparations for the summit are already in full flow, with Matt Clifford and Jonathan Black recently appointed as the Prime Minister’s Representatives. Together they’ll spearhead talks and negotiations, as they rally leading AI nations and experts over the next three months to ensure the summit provides a platform for countries to work together on further developing a shared approach to agree the safety measures needed to mitigate the risks of AI.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“The UK has long been home to the transformative technologies of the future, so there is no better place to host the first ever global AI safety summit than at Bletchley Park this November.

“To fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities of artificial intelligence, we must grip and tackle the risks to ensure it develops safely in the years ahead.

“With the combined strength of our international partners, thriving AI industry and expert academic community, we can secure the rapid international action we need for the safe and responsible development of AI around the world.”

Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said:

“Bletchley Park Trust is immensely privileged to have been chosen as the venue for the first major international summit on AI safety this November, and we look forward to welcoming the world to our historic site.

“It is fitting that the very spot where leading minds harnessed emerging technologies to influence the successful outcome of World War Two will, once again, be the crucible for international co-ordinated action.

“We are incredibly excited to be providing the stage for discussions on global safety standards, which will help everyone manage and monitor the risks of artificial intelligence”.

The roots of AI can be traced back to the leading minds who worked at Bletchley during the Second World War, with codebreakers Jack Good and Donald Michie among those who went on to write extensive works on the technology. In November, it will once again take centre stage as the international community comes together to agree on important guardrails which ensure the opportunities of AI can be realised, and its risks safely managed.

The announcement follows the UK Government allocating £13 million to revolutionise healthcare research through AI, unveiled last week. The funding supports a raft of new projects including transformations to brain tumour surgeries, new approaches to treating chronic nerve pain, and a system to predict a patient’s risk of developing future health problems based on existing conditions.

To be able to host this event of global importance, Bletchley Park will be closed to the public from Saturday 28 October to Friday 3 November 2023 inclusive.

Local Resident information:

There will be some disruption to access and parking around Bletchley Park, which the Council are aiming to minimise as far as is reasonably possible.

From 26 October until 3 November, temporary parking restrictions and limited access for vehicles will be introduced to some roads around Bletchley Park, expected to be: Tiltman Lane, Welchman Court, Wilton Avenue, Sherwood Drive, Jemima Way, Church Green Road, Homerton Street, Robinson Street, Selwyn Grove, Downing Close, Buckingham Road, and Rickley Lane.

During this time, diversions will be put in place. Residents and businesses based on those roads will be contacted by the Council or by the police in advance with specific advice around access, and on any alternative parking arrangements being made (options for alternative parking are currently being considered). Emergency access for blue light services remains unaffected.

Residents on Tiltman Lane, Welchman Court, Roche and Park Gardens, Alford Place, Enigma Place, and Ultra Avenue may also notice increased police presence and some temporary security infrastructure.

Local facilities such as Bletchley Community Hospital, MK College and other nearby businesses are expected to open as usual. If you’re travelling in the area, or by train, please allow additional time to arrive and depart.

The Government Department for Science, Innovation & Technology has created an FAQs document with further information:
Frequently Asked Questions document