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British PM kicks off London Tech Week with AI safety project

British PM kicks off London Tech Week with AI safety project

This week UK PM Rishi Sunak kicked off London Tech Week 2023. He announced that the British government has invested record sums in AI regulations and the development of responsible AI. Major AI companies will give a UK task force early access to their tech in order to develop safety policies.

The PM’s remarks echoed his earlier tweet. In it, he said: “With £100 million for our AI Taskforce, we are dedicating more funding to AI safety than any other country in the world”. Sunak added that the UK is going to work with major AI labs. This includes DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic, and will be done “for research and safety purposes”.

Keeping up with “shifting” technology

“We are an island of innovation”, Sunak said. “But at a moment like this, when the tectonic plates of technology are shifting – not just in AI, but in quantum, synthetic biology, semiconductors, and much more – we cannot rest, satisfied with where we stand”, he continued.

Sunak stated that AI presented a double-edged sword of opportunity combined with challenges for safety. When it comes to artificial intelligence, the Prime Minister said, “The possibilities are extraordinary, but we must – and we will – do it safely”.

“I know people are concerned”. he added.

Sunak announced that the three largest AI labs will give the UK AI Taskforce “early or priority access to models for research and safety purposes to help build better evaluations and help us better understand the opportunities and risks of these systems”.

Using AI to improve public services

Sunak went on to say that the UK was investing “record sums” in their technology capability. This includes £900 million in compute technology and £2.5 billion in quantum.

He added that the government was “harnessing AI to transform our public services from saving teachers hundreds of hours of time spent lesson planning to helping NHS patients get quicker diagnoses and more accurate tests”.

“So this is our strategy for safe AI: To lead at home; to lead overseas; and to lead change in our public services”, Sunak promised.