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FirstFT: Sunak set to announce first global summit on AI regulation in UK

The UK will host the first global summit on the regulation of artificial intelligence this autumn, the prime minister is set to announce today.

Rishi Sunak is expected to tell US president Joe Biden that Britain can exert leadership in establishing the “guardrails” for the new technology and will host the meeting to discuss how internationally co-ordinated regulation can mitigate risk.

Downing Street said the summit would bring together political and industry leaders from “like-minded countries”, but China is likely to be excluded. “Invitations will be sent out at the appropriate time,” Sunak’s spokesperson said.

Sunak will today hold talks with Biden in Washington about enhancing “economic security”, including a likely deal between the US and UK on developing supply chains in vital sectors, such as critical minerals, to bypass China. The two leaders will also discuss the longer-term security of Ukraine.

Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Economic data: Analysts expect revised figures due today to show that the eurozone economy shrank in the first quarter.

  • CRH extraordinary meeting: London’s standing comes under renewed scrutiny as shareholders of the world’s largest building materials group vote on shifting its primary listing to New York.

Five more top stories

1. Exclusive: The US, Taiwan and Japan are to share real-time data from naval reconnaissance drones, demonstrating Washington’s push to strengthen co-ordination in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Taipei is also set to receive four MQ-9B Sea Guardians, a maritime variant of the Reaper drones used widely by the US in the Middle East. Read the full story.

2. Understanding the threats from biodiversity loss is critical for the economy, European Central Bank board member Frank Elderson has said, hitting back at accusations of mission creep as the central bank embarks on its first major probe into such risks. Here’s why Elderson argues it is “not some kind of flower power” exercise.

3. A British marine insurance salesman “kept North Korea’s foreign trade fleet afloat” in apparent violation of UN sanctions, years after the UK government was made aware of suspicions over his activities, said a UN sanctions expert. The late David Skinner issued fraudulent insurance certificates for at least 29 North Korean ships in the five years before he died in 2016.

4. Crypto ownership more than doubled in the UK last year to more than one in 10 people surveyed, said the Financial Conduct Authority, as it announced an October start date for its clampdown on mis-selling in a sector often dubbed finance’s “Wild West”. Read more on the UK’s plans for a crackdown on the industry.

5. New York had the worst air quality in the world yesterday after smoke from Canadian wildfires covered a swath of North America, with authorities issuing health warnings to millions of people in the eastern US and Canada. The unhealthy air has disrupted everything from air travel to Broadway shows.

The Big Read

A doctor rests her hand on a newborn’s back in a hospital crib
© Linda Scuizzato/FT

Italy, a society that still views itself as traditional and family-orientated, is facing what some dub a “demographic winter”. Annual new births are falling relentlessly as women delay motherhood, or opt out altogether, in a nation lagging far behind its European peers in support for working mothers. But many are sceptical of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s attempts to entice women into having children.

We’re also reading . . . 

Chart of the day

Investors’ support for environmental and social activism sank at this year’s annual meetings of US companies, reflecting hesitation over increasingly prescriptive proposals and mounting political pressures.

Column chart of Average (%) showing Investor support drops for environmental, social issues at US companies

Take a break from the news

Ahead of the release of Black Mirror’s sixth season, the Financial Times interviews Charlie Brooker, the creator of the darkly satirical Netflix series. Brooker discusses avoiding Elon Musk and NFTs, and asking ChatGPT to write an episode summary.

Additional contributions by Benjamin Wilhelm and Gordon Smith

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