Sunak wants UK to be future hub for AI regulation
Governments worldwide are currently grappling with the task of striking a balance between evaluating and controlling the potential adverse impacts of AI while also fostering innovation
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak speaks during London Tech Week at the QEII centre on June 12, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Vogler – WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday (12) that Britain has the potential to become the global home for artificial intelligence (AI) regulation.
During his address to industry leaders, he positioned London as a thriving tech hub and encouraged them to embrace the opportunities and complexities presented by AI.
Sunak’s government plans to organise a summit dedicated to exploring the risks and regulatory aspects of AI later this year. Highlighting the transformative nature of technology, Sunak said the “tectonic plates of technology are shifting.”
“The possibilities (of AI) are extraordinary. But we must – and we will – do it safely,” Sunak said in a speech at the London Tech Week conference.
“I want to make the UK not just the intellectual home, but the geographical home of global AI safety regulation.”
Governments worldwide are currently grappling with the task of striking a balance between evaluating and controlling the potential adverse impacts of AI while also fostering innovation.
Sunak emphasised that the technology sector is central to his agenda for economic growth.
He acknowledged the concerns expressed by employees regarding job security but drew parallels to previous technological advancements that had posed similar challenges.
“Obviously people’s concern is for jobs,” he said. “We’ve grappled with these things in the past.”
Britain in March opted to split regulatory responsibility for AI between those bodies that oversee human rights, health and safety, and competition, rather than creating a new body dedicated to the technology.
During a visit to Washington last week, Sunak got U.S. President Joe Biden’s backing for Britain to host the AI summit, which will consider the risks of the technology and discuss how they can be mitigated through internationally coordinated action.
“This is a moment when the contours of the world for the rest of this century are being set,” chancellor Jeremy Hunt said at the conference.
“I would like this country to be a force for good in making sure these are set in a way that means that technology can really benefit everyone.”