Rishi Sunak convened this week's AI summit in an effort to position the UK at the forefront of global efforts to stave off the risks presented by the rapidly-advancing technology -- which in the prime minister's own words, could extend as far as human extinction. From a report: But the reality exposed during the 2-day gathering of politicians and industry experts at Bletchley Park, north of London, is the US is reluctant to cede much of a leadership role on artificial intelligence to its close ally. Sunak last week said the UK would set up the "world's first AI safety institute," designed to test new forms of the technology. At the summit on Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the US would create its own institute. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a speech on US efforts away from the conference to allow for more press attention.
"The US definitely cut across the summit," said Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank. He called the timing of the US announcements "insensitive because this was Rishi Sunak's attempt to show the world that the UK is in the lead." US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told the summit Wednesday that while countries must work together to find global solutions to global problems, "we will compete as nations." Nevertheless, the US and UK were quick to damp down any sense of tension, with a British official saying the US told Britain of its plans to open its own institute months ago, with the announcement planned to coincide with the event.