AI Safety Summit

Open Letter to the UK Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

Your ‘Global Summit on AI Safety’ seeks to tackle the transformational risks and benefits of AI, acknowledging that AI “will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another”.

Yet the communities and workers most affected by AI have been marginalised by the Summit.

The involvement of civil society organisations that bring a diversity of expertise and perspectives has been selective and limited.

This is a missed opportunity.

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.

This is about being fired from your job by algorithm, or unfairly profiled for a loan based on your identity or postcode.

People are being subject to authoritarian biometric surveillance, or to discredited predictive policing.

Small businesses and artists are being squeezed out, and innovation smothered as a handful of big tech companies capture even more power and influence.

To make AI truly safe we must tackle these and many other issues of huge individual and societal significance. Successfully doing so will lay the foundations for managing future risks.

For the Summit itself and the work that has to follow, a wide range of expertise and the voices of communities most exposed to AI harms must have a powerful say and equal seat at the table. The inclusion of these voices will ensure that the public and policy makers get the full picture.

In this way we can work towards ensuring the future of AI is as safe and beneficial as possible for communities in the UK and across the world.

30th October 2023

Signed by

  • Connected By Data
  • The Trades Union Congress, representing 6 million UK workers
  • Open Rights Group
  • Mozilla
  • Consumers International
  • Amnesty International
  • AI Now Institute
  • The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), representing 60 unions and 12.5 million American workers
  • International Transport Workers Federation, representing 18.5 million workers globally
  • European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), representing 45 million members from 93 trade union organisations in 41 European countries
  • UNI Europa Union, representing 7 million European service workers
  • UNI Global Union, representing 20 million service workers in 150 countries
  • IndustriALL Global Union representing over 50 million workers in 140 countries
  • The Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD
  • International Trade Union Confederation, representing 191 million trade union members in 167 countries and territories
  • Neil Lawrence, University of Cambridge DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning and Senior AI Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute
  • Burkhard Schafer, Professor of Computational Legal Theory, University of Edinburgh
  • The Open Data Institute
  • Tabitha Goldstaub, former chair of the AI Council
  • Dr Mike Katell, The Alan Turing Institute
  • Adam Leon Smith, Chair of British Computer Society Fellows Technical Advisory Group
  • Liberty
  • ForHumanity
  • Reset Tech
  • Eticas Tech
  • Data & Society
  • Access Now
  • Dr P M Krafft, Creative Computing Institute
  • 5 Rights Foundation
  • Global Action Plan
  • Thompsons Solicitors
  • Peter Flach, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Bristol
  • Professor Sue Black OBE, Durham University
  • Professor Vijay Varadharajan, Advanced Cyber Security Engineering Research Centre (ACSRC), The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Andelka Phillips, Senior Lecturer in Law, Science and Technology, University of Queensland
  • Professor Alan Bundy, the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh
  • Ismael Kherroubi Garcia, CEO of Kairoi
  • Tania Duarte, founder of We and AI
  • Dr Nora Ni Loideain, Information Law & Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London
  • Dr Miranda Mowbray honorary lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Bristol
  • Dr. Cristina Richie Lecturer of Ethics of Technology at University of Edinburgh
  • UNISON - the public service union
  • UNITE the Union
  • National Education Union
  • USDAW - Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
  • Community Union
  • National Union of Journalists
  • TSSA - the union for people in transport and travel
  • United Tech and Allied Workers
  • Prospect union
  • Privacy International
  • Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)
  • Research ICT Africa
  • Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
  • Global Witness
  • Finance Innovation Lab
  • Shân M. Millie, Bright Blue Hare
  • Kate Baucherel, Galia Digital
  • European Center for Not-for-Profit Law
  • Data, Tech & Black Communities CIC
  • Defend Democracy
  • Avaaz Foundation
  • Glitch
  • Superbloom
  • Open Futures
  • Migration Mobilities, University of Bristol
  • BWI Global Union, representing 12 million workers globally
  • Education International
  • Public Law Project
  • Dr Richard Clayton, Director, Cambridge University Cybercrime Centre
  • Professor Lilian Edwards, Newcastle Law School
  • Dr Julian Huppert, University of Cambridge and former MP
  • Baroness Frances O’Grady, former General Secretary of the TUC
  • Big Brother Watch
  • Mick Whitley MP
  • Professor Peter Sommer, Birmingham City University
  • Understanding Patient Data
  • Just Treatment
  • Rachel Coldicutt, Executive Director, Careful Trouble
  • Professor Nathalie Smuha, KU Leuven Faculty of Law & NYU School of Law
  • Statewatch
  • Professor Sara (Meg) Davis, University of Warwick
  • Baroness Dawn Primarolo, former MP
  • Lord John Monks, former General Secretary of the TUC
  • Professor Douwe Korff, Emeritus professor of international law, European human rights and digital rights expert
  • Judith Townend, Reader in Digital Society and Justice, University of Sussex
  • The Citizens
  • Phoebe Li, Reader in Law and Technology, University of Sussex
  • Professor Alex Lascarides, University of Edinburgh
  • StopWatch
  • Dr Gina Helfrich, Centre for Technomoral Futures, University of Edinburgh
  • Maria Farrell, writer and Senior Fellow At Large, University of Western Australia Tech and Policy Lab
  • ARTICLE 19
  • NASUWT, teachers union
  • Fair Trials
  • Worker Info Exchange
  • Dr Alex Wood, University of Bristol
  • Kristophina Shilongo, Senior Mozilla Fellow in Tech Policy
  • University and College Union (UCU)
  • The Racial Justice Network
  • Professor Martin Parker, University of Bristol Business School
  • Centre for Technomoral Futures, University of Edinburgh
  • Derechos Digitales
  • Fair Vote UK
  • Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics
  • Institute for the Future of Work
  • Inclusioneering
  • Just Algorithms Action Group
  • The End Violence Against Women Coalition
  • United We Rise Uk
  • Elanta Services
  • Homo Digitalis
  • Safe Online Women Kenya
  • Creative Commons
  • Women’s Tech Hub
  • Royal Statistical Society's Data Science and AI section
  • Dr Frederick Harry Pitts, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Exeter
  • Open Data Manchester
  • Accountable Tech
  • Caution Your Blast Ltd
  • UK Open Government Network
  • Sylvie Delacroix, Professor in Law and Ethics, University of Birmingham
  • Gary Marcus, CEO, Center for the Advancement of Trustworthy AI
  • Dr Denis Poussart, Emeritus Professor Université Laval, Quévec, Canada, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering
  • Professor Simon Buckingham Shum, University of Technology Sydney, Director, Connected Intelligence Centre
  • Gerd Leonhard, Futurist and Humanist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Film Maker
  • Chris Marsden, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Technology, and the Law at Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Simon Mills, Centre Director and Associate Professor in New Media, De Montfort University
  • Ulises Cortés, Professor of AI at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Coordinator of High-Performance AI at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
  • Noriswadi Ismail, Founder & Executive Leader, Noris Ismail Consulting, Strategy & Policy Ltd.
  • Dr Wayne Holmes, Associate Professor, AI and education University College London, Institute of Education
  • AIAAIC Repository
  • Sherin Mathew, Founder & CEO, AI Tech UK
  • Yonah Welker, Explorer, Board Member - EU Commission projects
  • Professor Alan Winfield, Bristol Robotics Laboratory & Science Communication Unit
  • Communication Workers Union
  • Xin Zhou, Executive Chief Editor, The Yuan
  • Prof. Dr. Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, Research Professor of the IIIA (Artificial Intelligence Research Institute) of the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)
  • Liam McGee, Chief Scientist, Kaiasm Ltd

If you would like to add your signature, please contact

Background and Media

The Open Letter on the UK's Global Summit on AI Safety has been convened by Connected by Data, The Trades Union Congress and Open Rights Group in response to the UK Government’s summit being held on the 1st and 2nd November 2023.

In recognition of the cross-cutting and global nature of AI policy, signatories include a diverse range of UK and international stakeholders, organisational and individual: representatives of tens of millions of organised workers, leading human rights organisations, experts and campaigners.

The letter can now be used by the media and shared publicly, and we encourage all signatories and supporters to do so. On social media, please use the hashtags #AISummitOpenLetter and #AISafetySummit.

Freely useable quotes and contact details from the letter's convenors and signatories can be found in this press release.

For any enquiries about the letter please contact Adam at