London was the place to be this week for a who’s who of political leaders and tech CEOs; or more precisely, Bletchley Park was. Famous for housing Alan Turing and other Enigma codebreakers during WW2, the British heritage site played host to the world’s first AI Safety Summit on Wednesday and Thursday.
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Culminating in the Bletchley Declaration, an agreement on AI safety signed by all the countries in attendance, the event was also very much about “positioning the U.K. as a central player in setting the agenda for ‘what we talk about when we talk about AI,'” TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reported from the ground.
Let’s not, however, overestimate the leg up that hosting the conference might have given Great Britain over its cross-channel rival. While this week did put the U.K. and its prime minister in the spotlight, things should soon even out. After a mini, virtual summit in Korea in six months, France will be hosting the next in-person AI Safety Summit next year.
French minister of finance Bruno Le Maire was already in attendance, as was French entrepreneur Arthur Mensch, whose startup Mistral AI raised a $113 million seed round at a $260 million valuation earlier this year. Yes, a nine-figure seed round.