The U.S. and U.K. yesterday signed an accord in which both countries agreed to work together to outpace adversaries in emerging cybersecurity and artificial intelligence technologies. The agreement was signed at the first meeting of the Atlantic Future Forum, held on Britain's largest warship, the Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth currently anchored in New York Harbor.
The Forum is part of the QNLZ in NYC Expo, which is a series of themed events designed to showcase the government’s ‘Global Britain’ agenda and relationship between the U.S. and U.K. Business and technology leaders as well as government and military officials participated in the conference. Organizers described as an “opportunity to explore the emerging trends and technologies that will dominate the world ahead cement the leading role that the U.K. and U.S. will jointly play in shaping them.”
A new committee consisting of technology companies in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence will result from the symposium. Out of that will come a sub-committee of the U.K. Board of Trade, supported by the U.K. Department for International Trade.
“The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom and the United States of America share a special bond that has stood for generations; a bond forged in the heat of operations spanning the whole of the globe,” said Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, in a statement. “In today’s deteriorating global security climate, faced with the breathless pace of technological advance, there has never been a more important time for our great nations to work ever more closely together.”
Key participants have already agreed to meet again next year for a follow-up summit, which will then become an annual event. Speakers at the October 22 inaugural gala included Gavin Williamson, U.K. Secretary of State for Defence; Rear Admiral David Hahn; Chris C. Demchak, Chief of Naval Research for the U.S. Navy, and Director, Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute, U.S Naval War College; retired General Keith Alexander, CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity; Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and executive chairman of the Chertoff Group; and, the CIOs of the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence.
Private industry executives from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Guardtime Services, BAE Systems, FireEye, Amazon Web Services, BP, BlackRock, Agorai, and C5 Capital also spoke at the event.
“Recent years have seen rapid growth in the percentage of the world’s population that is online, and the Forum recognised the need for investment and careful consideration of how we protect internet users. It’s crucial that we make the online world as safe as we’re making our physical world,” C5 Capital said in a statement.
Gen. Keith Alexander, IronNet founder, CEO and chairman of the board, called the Forum a “hands across the water” historic occasion for governments and private business. “It is important that we employ the latest technologies, rules and procedures to ensure the security of governments, commercial entities and individuals,” he said.