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Rishi Sunak talks AI regulation with Sam Altman and other CEOs

Sunak AI
Rishi Sunak with CEOs from OpenAI, Google DeepMind and Anthropic. Image credit: Number 10 Flickr

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has met with leaders from OpenAI, Google DeepMind and Anthropic to discuss AI regulation.

Sunak met yesterday with the AI executives, which included OpenAI’s Sam Altman. Sunak said that AI was the “defining technology of our time with the potential to positively transform humanity”.

The prime minister, who has previously outlined a vision to accelerate the UK’s AI sector, acknowledged in the meeting the looming risks associated with the technology.

In a joint statement, the PM and CEOs said they “discussed the risks of the technology, ranging from disinformation and national security, to existential threats”.

They added: “The PM set out how the approach to AI regulation will need to keep pace with the fast-moving advances in this technology.”

Sunak recently met with world leaders for the latest G7 summit in Japan, where he described the need to provide regulatory “guardrails” for new AI services.

Though weary of the risks, Sunak said AI has the potential to “deliver better outcomes for the British public, with emerging opportunities in a range of areas to improve public services”.

Altman similarly believes AI regulation is a critical goal to strive for. The CEO of the company behind ChatGPT spoke last week at the US senate where he testified that the technology must be kept in check.

The global AI sector has grown significantly in the last year after OpenAI’s groundbreaking large language model systems brought the technology into the limelight.

The UK has been no exception, with British AI companies scoring big-money rounds despite a wider drop in startup funding.

This week, London-based Builder.ai raised £201.4m in a Series D round just weeks after receiving backing from Microsoft.

Sridhar Iyengar, managing director for cloud software company Zoho Europe, said: “It is positive to see UK leaders in both government and AI come together to discuss the future of this technology. Artificial intelligence offers huge potential. However, regulation to ensure the ethical use of AI will help to garner public trust.”

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