July 15, 2024

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“AI risks require government action, not just tech firms,” says the UK Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Prime Minister, emphasises the critical importance of government involvement in managing the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) and warns against leaving this responsibility solely to tech giants. He voiced his concerns ahead of the AI Safety Summit, where a global agreement regarding AI risk management has been unveiled.

During the summit, the Duke of Cornwall, King Charles, urged the participants to address the matter with “urgency, unity, and collective strength,” given the growing concerns surrounding the highly advanced, yet unknown, capabilities of AI.

Governments worldwide are now beginning to grapple with the potential risks posed by AI, ranging from privacy breaches and cyberattacks to job displacement. Mr. Sunak highlighted the transformative potential of AI in sectors like healthcare and education but stressed the need for rigorous testing to ensure safety.

According to the Prime Minister, it is imperative that governments or external entities be involved in this work to safeguard citizens and domestic interests. He pointed out that many AI firms have already provided the UK with access to their AI models pre-release, highlighting the nation’s investments in AI risk management, particularly the £100 million allocated to the development of a Safety Institute.

The ongoing AI safety summit in Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, convenes approximately 100 leaders, tech executives, and academics, focusing on addressing AI’s potential risks.

The summit participants have signed the “Bletchley Declaration,” which marks the world’s first international agreement regarding “frontier AI,” referring to AI systems surpassing current advanced capabilities. The declaration calls for global collaboration to mitigate the associated risks, ensuring AI remains “human-centric, trustworthy, and responsible.”

In his interview, Prime Minister Sunak defended a planned discussion with Elon Musk, a controversial tech billionaire, asserting that Musk’s investment and involvement in AI development and his warnings about potential risks make him a valuable contributor to the conversation.

Mr. Sunak emphasized the need for collaboration between countries and technology companies, recognizing the crucial role played by major AI firms at the summit. This approach allows governments to work alongside AI companies to address AI risks effectively.