Richard Lochhead has hit out after ministers in the devolved authorities were left out of the Rishi Sunak’s global AI summit.

The Scottish innovation minister said the snub was surprising given Scotland was a “leader in several AI areas.”

In a letter to Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said he “could have made a valuable direct contribution to this global conversation.”

READ MORE: 'Humanity could lose control of AI completely' warns Prime Minister

Countries from across the world, including the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and China, will meet at Bletchley Park today to discuss regulation over the emerging technology.

Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the USA and EU commission chief Ursula von der Leyen will speak on behalf of the bloc.

The Herald: Rishi Sunak said he wanted to be honest about AI (Peter Nicholls/PA)

Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO and owner of the social media site X, formerly Twitter, will also attend and join the Prime Minister for a live interview after the summit closes on Thursday.

The chat between the two comes just days after the billionaire tech boss branded Humza Yousaf a "blatant racist."

READ MORE: Elon Musk brands Humza Yousaf 'racist'

In his letter, Mr Lochhead said: “Like my Welsh and Northern Irish colleagues, I reiterated my disappointment at UK Nations not being invited to take part in the AI Safety Summit.

“Scotland is a leader in several AI areas and I believe could have made a valuable direct contribution to this global conversation.

“Our National AI Strategy pre-dates that of the UK, and the Scottish AI Alliance’s Leadership Group is currently carrying out an independent review to ensure that we remain at the forefront of AI policy and technology development.”

He added that while AI regulation was a reserved matter, it would impact “many devolved policy areas” and would likely “force implementation onto Scottish agencies.”

“Therefore, Scotland’s interests and priorities need to be taken into account as part of further development of the UK AI regulations,” Mr Lochhead added.

The SNP ministers said for the UK to “remain successful on the global AI stage, I believe it is essential that UK Nations work as a team, and I welcome your assurances that going forward the UK Government will closely engage with the Scottish Government on AI.”

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology did not respond to requests for a comment, but in remarks released ahead of the summit, Ms Donelan said: “AI is already an extraordinary force for good in our society, with limitless opportunity to grow the global economy, deliver better public services and tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“But the risks posed by frontier AI are serious and substantive and it is critical that we work together, both across sectors and countries to recognise these risks.

“This summit provides an opportunity for us to ensure we have the right people with the right expertise gathered around the table to discuss how we can mitigate these risks moving forward.

“Only then will we be able to truly reap the benefits of this transformative technology in a responsible manner.”

Meanwhile, the UK Government has pledged £38 million towards funding artificial intelligence projects around the world, starting in Africa.

The commitment is part of an £80 million collaboration between Britain, Canada and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to boost “safe and responsible” programming, the Foreign Office said.