German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is considering not attending a major UK summit on artificial intelligence (AI) due to concerns about potential overlap with other international efforts. The UK government is hosting a two-day event focused on AI safety on November 1, with an agenda emphasising threats posed by rapidly evolving technology, including cybersecurity.
The summit is set to bring together tech companies, academics, independent experts, and senior executives from US-based tech giants. The first day of discussions will be chaired by the UK’s Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan. The second day is expected to host a “small group” of attendees, including international government figures, with meetings led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The event will be held at Bletchley Park, the historic site that served as the World War II codebreakers’ headquarters.
While Scholz’s attendance remains uncertain, there are concerns that his absence could trigger a “domino effect,” with other world leaders, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, also remaining unconfirmed. The UK’s Foreign Secretary confirmed the invitation of a Chinese representative, despite controversy. The UK’s Conservative Party MPs have called for China to be excluded from the conference due to security disputes, although China has already developed its own rules for AI regulation. Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the United States at the summit.
Germany is seeking to avoid overlap with G7 efforts, as the group has agreed to create an international code of conduct for AI. Germany is also the largest economy in the EU, which is working to finalise its AI Act by the end of the year, involving the grading of AI tools based on their significance. While the UK plans to incorporate AI regulation into existing bodies, some experts are calling for the establishment of an international UN-style regulator to oversee AI at a global level. The summit is the first international event focused on frontier AI risks and is gaining attention from both home and overseas audiences. The uncertainty of senior attendance is standard practice for major international events, often confirmed closer to the date for security reasons.