A Grateful Acknowledgment
Secretary of State Michelle Donelan delivered an engaging speech at Onward, highlighting the UK’s vision for the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). She began by expressing her gratitude to Onward for their commitment to the field.
A New and Exciting Department
Donelan underscored her department’s proactive approach to AI, emphasizing that they have been steadfast in their mission. She lauded Onward’s contributions, such as their report on generative AI and Allan Nixon’s “Wired for Success Report,” which shed light on DSIT’s role in Whitehall.
The Growing Significance of AI
Donelan noted the global awareness surrounding AI’s potential and challenges. She highlighted that in the past three years, AI has become a prominent topic in the House of Commons, surpassing the cumulative mentions of the previous 30 years.
A Different Approach to AI
The Secretary of State reiterated her commitment to doing things differently when it comes to AI. She stressed the need for the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology to be innovative, agile, and accessible, mirroring the characteristics of the entrepreneurs, businesses, and researchers they represent.
A Team of Experts
Donelan proudly announced the addition of renowned AI experts to her department and the Frontier AI Taskforce. Experts such as David Krueger, Yarin Gal, and Yoshua Bengio have joined their ranks. The UK is well-positioned to lead the charge in the global AI landscape.
Emphasizing AI Safety
Donelan focused on the UK’s priority – AI safety. Simultaneously, she addressed the need to tackle safety challenges to fully unlock AI’s potential. Above all, she emphasized that the goal is to focus on the opportunities, not fear the risks.
Safety as a Driving Philosophy
The Secretary of State challenged myths about the UK’s AI approach. Furthermore, she elaborated on how the UK’s emphasis on AI safety and security will make it the ideal place for AI companies to flourish and innovate.
Global Investment in Safety
The UK’s investment in AI safety is unmatched, Donelan noted. They are addressing crucial questions such as preventing misuse of Frontier AI and ensuring human control over the technology.
Boosting Consumer Confidence
Donelan drew a parallel with the aviation industry, highlighting the importance of safety in AI adoption. Building consumer confidence is crucial for rapid adoption.
The Need for Understanding
The Secretary of State emphasized the necessity of understanding the risks associated with AI before rushing into solutions. The Frontier AI Taskforce is tasked with deepening this understanding and forging partnerships.
Leading the International Conversation
Donelan pointed to the Global AI Safety Summit as a significant opportunity to share knowledge and form agreements on key risks. Notably, international collaboration is essential in the global realm of AI.
A Sector-Specific Approach
The UK’s principles-based approach to AI regulation, as outlined in the AI Regulation White Paper, is specifically tailored to different sectors. The overarching goal is to empower regulators with expertise in their respective areas, thereby ensuring effective regulation.
Supporting Small Businesses
The regulatory approach aims to provide flexibility and support for small, new, and challenger AI companies. Moreover, initiatives are launched to assist innovators in bringing their products to market more quickly and safely.
The Quest for Confidence
The UK’s goal is to provide consumers and the public with the confidence to adopt AI. This approach, Donelan emphasized, will make the UK a prime destination for AI developers.
The Proof in Action
Donelan pointed to companies like Open AI and Anthropic, which have opened international offices in the UK, as evidence of the country’s appeal to AI companies.
An Invitation to Smaller AI Companies
The Secretary of State extended a warm invitation to smaller AI companies, assuring them that the UK is the most agile and innovative place to develop their businesses.
Balancing Safety and Prosperity
In conclusion, Donelan reiterated that safety at the frontier of AI will pave the way for prosperity across the sector, allowing the UK to seize the opportunities while managing the risks effectively.