UK PM Sunak urges for government action on AI risks

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has highlighted the risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI) and the need for government action to address them. Sunak expressed concerns that AI could be used to develop chemical or biological weapons and escape human control.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has emphasised the need for governments to address the risks associated with AI. Sunak expressed concerns that AI technology could facilitate the development of chemical or biological weapons, spread fear, and potentially escape human control. To address these risks, the UK government plans to establish an AI Safety Institute, which will examine and evaluate new types of AI to understand their capabilities and analyse the potential risks, including social harms such as bias and misinformation.

Next week, Sunak will convene a global gathering at Bletchley Park, the historic site where Britain’s World War Two code-breakers worked. The meeting aims to bring together representatives from AI companies, political leaders, and experts to discuss the unpredictable advancements of AI and the potential consequences of losing control over this technology. The objective is to reach a consensus on the risks associated with AI and establish a global panel to assess and provide recommendations on AI safety.

Sunak’s ambition is for Britain to become a global leader in AI safety, positioning the country as a prominent player in the post-Brexit era amidst competition from the United States, China, and the EU. This aligns with the call made by the leaders of the G7 economies to adopt standards that ensure the trustworthiness of AI. In May, the G7 initiated the Hiroshima AI Process, establishing a ministerial forum to address the development and deployment of AI.

Notable figures invited to attend the gathering include United States Vice President Kamala Harris and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis. However, it remains uncertain whether China will attend, as Sunak could not guarantee their participation.

Why does it matter?

Sunak’s emphasis on the risks posed by AI and the need for government involvement highlights the importance of taking proactive measures to address these potential dangers. By setting up an AI Safety Institute and convening a global gathering, Britain aims to lead in AI safety, while the G7’s call for standards demonstrates a global effort to create reliable and trustworthy AI. The participation of prominent figures from the United States and Google further underscores the significance of this gathering. However, China’s potential absence raises questions about the country’s stance on AI safety and its willingness to cooperate in addressing these global concerns.