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Google DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic have agreed to provide the UK government with access to their AI models.
Prime Minister Rishi Saunak made the announcement during London Tech Week, highlighting the priority access granted to aid in evaluating AI systems and understanding their opportunities and risks.
During his speech, Sunak championed the transformative potential of AI in sectors like education and healthcare, positioning the UK as an “island of innovation” in the field. Recognising the vast possibilities that arise from combining AI models with quantum computing, Sunak expressed enthusiasm about the extraordinary prospects that lie ahead.
He also emphasised the importance of ensuring safe implementation. Acknowledging public concerns, Sunak reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to responsible AI development. While an AI white paper published earlier this year focused on a pro-innovation approach, recent statements from Sunak have stressed the need for establishing guardrails in AI practices.
Sunak further outlined the UK’s ambition to become not only the intellectual home but also the geographical home of global AI safety regulation. Although specific regulatory proposals were not disclosed, plans for a global summit on AI safety in the fall were revealed. The summit, similar to the UN COP climate change conference,s aims to gather experts and stakeholders to discuss and address AI-related safety concerns.
To support these efforts, a Foundation Model Taskforce will spearhead research o AI safety and assurance techniques, bolstered by 100 million pounds in funding. In addition to AI, Sunak highlighted semiconductors, synthetic biology, and quantum technology as key areas of focus for the UK, praising the country’s agile and balanced regulatory approach that continues to attract investment.
Anthropic and OpenAI have recently established European headquarters in the UK, while Palantir announced the setup of an AI research hub last week.