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Government AI taskforce appoints new members and rebrands

AI Taskforce
Image credit: Login / Shutterstock

The government has bolstered the ranks of the advisory board for its AI taskforce with experts in computer science and cybersecurity amid a rebrand that shifts the focus to “frontier AI”.

Yoshua Bengio, a Turing Prize Laureate, and GCHQ director Anne Keast-Butler have been appointed to the external advisory board of the government’s Frontier AI Taskforce.

First announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in April with £100m backing, it was previously known as the Foundation Model Taskforce. It is chaired by tech entrepreneur Ian Hogarth.

It was created by the government to advise on the risks and opportunities of frontier AI models, defined as “highly capable foundation models, which could have dangerous capabilities that are sufficient to severely threaten public safety and global security”.

Bengio said: “We have seen massive investment into improving AI capabilities, but not nearly enough investment into protecting the public, whether in terms of AI safety research or in terms of governance to make sure that AI is developed for the benefit of all.”

Hogarth today also published the group’s first progress report, where he states the group is still calling for more members.

Next month Bletchley Park will host the government’s first international AI Safety Summit.

“I am pleased to confirm the first members of the taskforce’s external advisory board, bringing together experts from academia, industry, and government with diverse expertise in AI research and national security,” said Hogarth.

Entrepreneur First CEO Matt Clifford was recruited to the Frontier AI Taskforce’s external advisory board in August.

“The combination of academia, industry experts, government and business within this UK initiative is a great step to identifying risks and opportunities and to provide education as this technology develops and matures further at a rapid pace,” said Sridhar Iyengar, managing director for Zoho Europe, a software company. “Collaboration between these four groups can make a huge impact, resulting in further trust in AI.”