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UK Government on Safe AI Progress

Top AI CEOs Collaborate with UK Government on Safe AI Progress

In a pivotal meeting held yesterday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Chloe Smith convened with the CEOs of leading AI companies, including OpenAI’s Sam Altman, Google’s DeepMind, and Anthropic.

The objective of the meeting was to strategise around the responsible development of Artificial Intelligence and establish an approach to governance befitting the technological advances on the horizon.

During the meeting, Sunak emphasised AI as the “defining technology of our time”, underscoring its potential to “positively transform humanity.”

However, he highlighted the importance of developing robust measures to ensure public confidence in the safe and responsible use of AI.

Guardrails for AI

The attendees, including the notable AI leaders, agreed that the success of AI hinges on having the right regulatory guardrails in place.

The group discussed a variety of risks associated with the technology, spanning from disinformation and national security to existential threats.

“The PM and CEOs discussed safety measures, voluntary actions that labs are considering to manage the risks, and the possible avenues for international collaboration on AI safety and regulation,” a joint statement from the meeting stated.

The International Dimension of AI Safety

Echoing sentiments from the G7 summit, Sunak outlined that AI safety is an international endeavour, transcending borders and impacting the global economy.

The UK’s agile response to these challenges, as outlined in the government’s AI White Paper, is a strategic effort to balance unlocking AI’s potential with mitigating its risks.

The Prime Minister made it clear that the UK aims to be at the forefront of the international discussion concerning the safety and regulatory measures needed for AI.

Advancing AI for Public Good

Moreover, Sunak spoke about the UK Government’s ambitions for AI’s potential to deliver better outcomes for the British public.

The CEOs expressed their intent to work closely with the Foundation Model Taskforce, backed by an initial £100m start-up funding, to deliver on these ambitions.

“AI will improve life dramatically, from transforming industries to delivering scientific breakthroughs. The PM and CEOs committed to work together to ensure society benefits from such transformation,” the statement read.

OpenAI’s Concerns Over EU AI Regulations

However, the pathway to AI’s responsible evolution is not without obstacles.

At an event in London, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman expressed apprehension about the upcoming EU AI regulations, considering them potentially burdensome for companies deploying generative AI tools.

One of the contentious points of the draft regulations is the requirement to disclose any copyrighted material used in developing AI systems.

“The current draft of the EU AI Act would be over-regulating, but we have heard it’s going to get pulled back… There’s a lot of things that could be done,” Altman told Reuters.

He emphasised that OpenAI would first attempt to comply with the regulations before making any decisions about withdrawal.

AI and the Job Market

This high-level meeting also occurred against the backdrop of growing concerns around AI’s impact on jobs.

The rapid evolution of AI technology is said to be a threat to job security, highlighted recently when BT Group announced plans to cut up to 55,000 jobs due to a shift towards AI and automated services.

The Prime Minister’s tone towards AI appears to be hardening.

The government’s policy paper published less than two months ago was titled “A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation”, indicating the balancing act between championing technological advancements and ensuring public safety.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca is our AI news writer. A graduate of Leeds University with an International Journalism MA, she possesses a keen eye for the latest AI developments. Rebecca’s passion for AI, and with her journalistic expertise, brings insightful news stories for our readers.

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