Olivia O’Sullivan

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Army cadets walk along London Wall before the Lord Mayor's Show in the City of London on 11 November 2023 (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)

Much of the UK election campaign has focused on domestic issues, but security and defence have also been on the pre-election agenda. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party have centred the idea that the median voter feels insecure. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives have sought to portray themselves as guarantors of the nation’s security – and queried Labour’s commitment to defence.

But in the campaign, these important issues have often been covered via narrow competitive rhetoric on defence spending and the UK’s nuclear weapons system.

Even before the campaign began, Sunak accused Labour of making the UK ‘less safe’ for not committing to spend 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence by 2030.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-Palestinian supporters march in front of Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, in central London, on 28 May 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images).

It’s well-known in the UK that the next government, whoever wins, will face a cascade of difficult domestic problems – the opposition Labour party have even drawn up a list, including prison overcrowding and the prospect of collapsing local councils and universities. All these issues are rightly high on the agenda in the campaign. But a July election will also mean some foreign affairs events and questions will immediately confront the next government.

Under the UK’s rules, Rishi Sunak had until 28 January 2025 to hold an election, and most assumed he would wait for the autumn to see if his poll numbers improved and if UK economic news would get brighter.…  Seguir leyendo »

A customer at a kiosk advertising M-Pesa, Safaricom's mobile money service, in Nairobi, on September 14, 2023. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

This week’s AI Seoul summit offers an opportunity to broaden the conversation on AI from a narrow but important focus on safety, to one that further explores the technology’s potential benefits.

The Seoul summit convenes governments and select global industry, academic and civil society leaders, not only around efforts to ‘ensure AI model safety’ but to support ‘ innovation and inclusivity’.

The UK is a co-host of the summit, and hosted the first AI Safety Summit in November 2023, consistently championing AI safety. But it has coupled that with a focus on how AI can bring benefits to poorer countries – announcing an £80 million AI for Development programme at the 2023 summit.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on AI at Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace on October 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Nicholls/Getty Images)

On 1–2 November, the UK will host its AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, bringing AI powerhouses like the US and China together with industry leaders, civil society and experts, in an attempt to lead on managing AI risks on an international level.

Today, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previewed the summit by announcing a new UK AI Safety Institute, which would monitor AI development and risks and share its findings worldwide.

When the UK first announced the summit in June 2023, there was some criticism that it added another process to an already crowded landscape.

While there is a need to coordinate across these efforts, especially the existing Global Partnership on AI, the summit will have a distinct focus on ‘frontier’ AI risks – that is the concern that the most powerful AI models could either be used for dangerous purposes or act in unanticipated ways.…  Seguir leyendo »