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Even though there has been a seemingly dramatic rise in people talking about AI and it being reported in the news, AI has been around for a long time and already underpins much of what we do day to day, from household gadgets to helping us send emails.

Our latest research shows that the surge in AI has left a third of people fearing the unknown, yet the reality is that we already have three times as many daily interactions with AI than we realise. To give people a better understanding, we’ve exposed the daily hidden touch points with AI that many of us aren’t aware of.

With the potential to help people with improved healthcare, safer transport systems and tailored, cheaper and longer-lasting products and services, the opportunities AI represents are profound, across sectors and industries, as well as for public good. 

What we need to see now is the UK government establishing firm rules on the use of AI, which will need to be based on professional best practice, transparency, robustness, avoidance of unwanted bias (fairness), privacy and security.

This is necessary to ensure AI is used safely and to help prevent incidents from occurring – and it is fundamental to maintaining public trust, which underpins the economic and social benefits AI can bring.

Last week, global leaders and industry professionals came together for the world’s first AI Safety Summit, and it was here that the communique was signed.

Our Head of Policy at the IET, Stephanie Baxter, commented on the communique: “The AI Safety Summit is an important milestone in the UK’s role in achieving safer AI, and it’s great to see the comprehensive communique that has been signed today which reinforces how AI can be used for good, in helping people, sectors and industries, and spurring innovation and productivity. It is welcoming to see that the need for international cooperative policies and appropriate legal and regulatory structures has been addressed. This must be in place to allow AI’s safe development and use.

“But with emerging technologies, like AI, being fundamental to sector growth, it’s important to recognise that education and training is key to the safe use of AI, and we should look at upskilling and reskilling the current workforce. Employers are telling us that there is a lack of skills in industry to take advantage of AI, so we need to be agile and offer options for rapid training, such as micro credentials, to adapt and make best use of new technologies. Government plays a key role in supporting initiatives that enable employers to stay competitive and innovative in this space.”

The Guardian has shared its five takeaways from the summit.

You can also take a look at our campaign page for everything the IET is doing around AI.

So, what can you do to get involved?

A seasoned technologist and executive leader, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, is now President of the IET. He is the Founder of Myelin Foundry – an AI company with a vision to transform human experiences and industry outcomes.

As a society, we’re facing some of our greatest challenges. From climate change to resource scarcity, we must find solutions that enable a sustainable and robust future. These require innovative ideas and engineering teams must play a key role in delivering them. In his President’s Address on Tuesday, 21 November, Dr Gopichand will share his thoughts on how AI and engineering are critical in achieving a future where sustainability, jobs, and progress are achieved in harmony.

Find out more about our President, his upcoming address and how you can be a part of it. 

We are also offering the opportunity to join the AI technical network event on 21 November, led by inventor and entrepreneur, Professor Ronjon Nag as he, and industry leaders in AI, explore the ethical minefields and regulatory challenges of AI and delve into its escalating trends, and demystify its role in managing innovation.