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London, June 12 – Artificial intelligence (AI) doesn’t respect traditional national borders so we urgently need global cooperation between nations and labs, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday.
Addressing the ‘London Tech Week 2023’ here, he said that he wants to make the UK not just the intellectual home but the geographical home of global AI safety regulation.
“Just as we unite through the Conference of the Parties (COP) to tackle climate change, the UK will host the first ever Summit on global AI Safety later this year,” the Prime Minister announced.
“It’s great to be back at London Tech Week at what I think is a moment of huge opportunity.”
According to him, 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”.
“We must act – and act quickly – if we want not only to retain our position as one of the world’s tech capitals but to go even further and make this the best country in the world to start, grow, and invest in tech businesses,” he emphasised.
AI has helped the paralysed to walk and discover superbug-killing antibiotics.
“Combined with the computational power of quantum we could be on the precipice of discovering cures for diseases like cancer and dementia or ways to grow crops that could feed the entire world,” said Sunak.
However, people are concerned about the safety of AI.
“The very pioneers of AI are warning us about the ways these technologies could undermine our values and freedoms through to the most extreme risks of all. And that’s why leading on AI also means leading on AI safety,” Sunak noted.
“So, we’re building a new partnership between our vibrant academia, brilliant AI companies, and a government that gets it,” he added.
With 100 million pounds for its expert taskforce, the UK is dedicating more funding to AI safety than any other government.
The UK has already invested record sums including 900 million pounds in compute technology and 2.5 billion pounds in quantum technology.
“AI can help us achieve the holy grail of public service reform: better, more efficient services,” he added.