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AI, innovation and industry. Urso in London (waiting for Meloni)

Representing Italy at the first-ever AI Safety Summit on artificial intelligence and safety, Italy’s Enterprise Minister met with the British Minister for Science, Research and Innovation. The technological and industrial cooperation between Rome and London is “growing stronger” in the wake of the MoU signed by Sunak and Meloni, set to land on Thursday to attend the event

AI Safety Summit gets underway at Bletchley Park. This novel event is being held where Alan Turing’s team cracked the Nazis’ Enigma message cypher during World War II. In continuity with his intellectual legacy, the two-day event is geared towards becoming a turning point for the safety of artificial intelligence, bringing together political and industrial leaders to discuss how to steer the course of its development.

  • Representing Italy is Enterprise Minister Adolfo Urso, who on Wednesday will attend sessions on the risks posed by the misuse of AI models and what policymakers can do to mitigate them.
  • Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will join him on Thursday for the second and final day of the event.

The Urso-Freeman meeting. Meanwhile, on the eve of the Summit, the Italian minister took the opportunity to meet with George Freeman, the UK’s Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, to discuss topics of mutual interest. AI was front and centre in their exchange of views, reads an official note from the Italian side. Still, their conversation – in the wake of the “increasingly strong technological cooperation between the two countries, also in the light of the [Memorandum of Understanding] signed in April between PM Meloni and her counterpart Rishi Sunak – brought them to explore other dossiers.

  • In particular, Ministers Urso and Freeman focussed on “Italian-British synergies in the aerospace sector and in scientific research, also in the context of the Horizon Europe programme,” the EU’s flagship research cooperation scheme, which London rejoined in September.
  • Among the collaborations already underway is the Global Combat Air Programme, the Italo-British-Japanese project to develop the next-generation fighter aircraft (which was the subject of a trilateral meeting between the three defence ministers on Wednesday).

Ready for the future? All these areas overlap with AI, a technology that promises to become a multiplier of development and revolutionise entire sectors, which is why PM Meloni has included it among the priorities of the Italian-led G-7 in 2024. During the meeting with his British counterpart, Minister Urso outlined the main points of next year’s work within the G-7 on industrial policy, which will encompass digital economy and space policy as well as AI.

  • The “numerous areas of common interest” will be the subject of another bilateral meeting on industrial policy and AI in Rome, set for January, to further the implementation of the MoU.
  • Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Minister Urso will have another meeting on the sidelines of the Bletchley Park Summit with Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce of the United States, another country with which Italy is expanding political and industrial cooperation in the field of technology.

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