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UK MoD Host International AI Defence Partnership Forum

[AI illustration via UK MoD]

16 nations are collaborating and sharing global best practice in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to deal with defence and security challenges.


Press Release, Whitehall, 27 October 2021: The UK Ministry of Defence hosted the fourth AI Partnership for Defence (AI PfD) dialogue, becoming the first nation outside the US to host the forum which brings together like-minded defence partners to discuss respective policies, approaches, challenges and solutions in adopting AI-enabled capabilities.

The partnership, which expanded from 13 to 16 nations in May, was launched by the US Department of Defense (DoD) Joint AI Centre (JAIC) in 2020 to collaborate and share global best practice. The importance of the reoccurring forum was underlined by the recent US national security commission on AI that reported to Congress earlier this year. Equally AI was highlighted in the UK’s Integrated Review where the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at least £6.6bn for research and development (R&D) enabling more research into AI and related areas.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of UK Strategic Command, said: “By bringing together 16 like-minded nations to discuss AI, this partnership opens an essential international dialogue that benefits our collective Defence and promotes a common vision for the responsible use of AI.”

The UK delegation includes representatives from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the new Defence AI Centre and the Defence AI and Autonomy Unit with UK participation coordinated by the British Defence Staff in Washington DC. The 2-day event focused on AI governance, and considered the role of organisational strategies, policies, standards, regulation and risk management frameworks in both providing assurance, and enabling innovation.

Steve Meers, head of Dstl’s AI Centre, said: “The AI partnership is a vitally important initiative that builds on a growing set of international nations coming together to ensure we are all clear and agree on the responsible application of AI, and to support one another as we deal with global defence and security challenges.”

The event follows Dstl’s virtual AI Fest 4, which ran a ‘trustworthy AI’ theme including more than 110 talks over 2 days and 50 spotlight talks on demand.


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