Artificial intelligence (AI) “does not respect borders” and the UK must lead on drawing up global regulation for the technology, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said today.
Speaking at London Tech Week this morning, Sunak warned that the adoption of AI would have an impact on employment akin to the “industrial revolution” and said its adoption must be done “safely”.
“The possibilities are extraordinary. But we must, and we will do it safely,” Sunak said.
“I know people are concerned, the very pioneers of AI are warning us about the ways these technologies can 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 does that he wants to make the UK “not just the intellectual home, but the geographical home of global AI safety regulation.”
The comments come after the government tabled plans for an AI safety summit in the autumn which will look to draw up a global framework to manage AI. Sunak won the backing of US President Biden for the conference on a recent trip to Washington.
The Prime Minister added that there was a “balance to be struck between regulation that supports innovation that puts appropriate protection in place”.
“I think the UK has a track record of getting that balance right,” Sunak said, adding that “AI doesn’t respect national borders” and a global approach to regulation would be needed.
The push for AI regulation comes amid a boom in the technology triggered by the launch of OpenAI’s chatGPT. Cash has been pouring into the sector and has pushed the valuations of AI-adjacent firms to new highs.