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The Seoul AI summit should put local capacity at the heart of AI for international development


For the UK, backing the use of emerging technology for development goals should extend to support of local leadership and stewardship.

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. The Seoul summit is an opportunity for the UK to reaffirm that focus.

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