UNI Global Union as well as our European region, UNI Europa, joined over 100 civil society organizations from across the world on Monday to brand the UK government’s AI Safety Summit as “a missed opportunity.”
In an open letter to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the groups warn that the “communities and workers most affected by AI have been marginalized by the Summit” while a select few corporations seek to shape the rules.
The Summit, dominated by political leaders and tech executives, will discuss the risks of advanced AI technology like those in OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The letter reads:
“As it stands, the Summit is a closed-door event, overly focused on speculation about the remote ‘existential risks’ of ‘frontier’ AI systems – systems built by the very same corporations who now seek to shape the rules.
“For many millions of people in the UK and across the world, the risks and harms of AI are not distant – they are felt in the here and now.”
The letter Connected by Data, TUC and Open Rights Group and is released ahead of the official AI Summit at Bletchley Park on 1 and 2 November.
“AI is already making life-changing decisions – like how we work, how we’re hired and who gets fired. But working people have yet to be given a seat at the table,” said TUC Assistant General Secretary Kate Bell. “This event was an opportunity to bring together a wide range of voices to discuss how we deal with immediate threats and make sure AI benefits all. It shouldn’t just be tech bros and politicians who get to shape the future of AI.”
In addition to UNI and the letter organizers, the AFL-CIO, European Trade Union Confederation, International Trade Union Confederation, IndustriALL Global Union, Amnesty International, and many more signed on.
“The exclusion of workers’ voices from the Summit is shameful,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary. “If there is a plan to roll out AI across the economy, the workers need to be at the table from day one. AI offers some opportunities to improve work for many, but only if the right protections are put into place and workers share in the gains.”