Thursday, May 23, 2024
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    UK and US move step closer to regulating AI with MOU signing

    Regulation of AI comes another step closer as the US and UK governments sign memorandum of understanding to look at how to de-risk reckless AI use. The move comes hot on the heels of the EU introducing its own EU AI Act last month

    The UK and US have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which will see them work together to develop tests for the most advanced artificial intelligence (AI) models, following through on commitments made at the AI Safety Summit last November.

    Signed by Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the partnership will see both countries working to align their scientific approaches and working closely to accelerate and rapidly iterate robust suites of evaluations for AI models, systems, and agents.

    The UK and US AI Safety Institutes have laid out plans to build a common approach to AI safety testing and to share their capabilities to ensure these risks can be tackled effectively. They intend to perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model. They also intend to tap into a collective pool of expertise by exploring personnel exchanges between the Institutes.

    The partnership will take effect immediately and is intended to allow both organisations to work seamlessly with one another. AI continues to develop rapidly, and both governments recognise the need to act now to ensure a shared approach to AI safety which can keep pace with the technology’s emerging risks. As the countries strengthen their partnership on AI safety, they have also committed to develop similar partnerships with other countries to promote AI safety across the globe.

    UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan said: “This agreement represents a landmark moment, as the UK and the United States deepen our enduring special relationship to address the defining technology challenge of our generation.

    “We have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue. Only by working together can we address the technology’s risks head on and harness its enormous potential to help us all live easier and healthier lives.

    “The work of our two nations in driving forward AI safety will strengthen the foundations we laid at Bletchley Park in November, and I have no doubt that our shared expertise will continue to pave the way for countries tapping into AI’s enormous benefits safely and responsibly.”

    United States Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo added: “AI is the defining technology of our generation. This partnership is going to accelerate both of our Institutes’ work across the full spectrum of risks, whether to our national security or to our broader society. Our partnership makes clear that we aren’t running away from these concerns – we’re running at them. Because of our collaboration, our Institutes will gain a better understanding of AI systems, conduct more robust evaluations, and issue more rigorous guidance.

    “By working together, we are furthering the long-lasting special relationship between the US and UK and laying the groundwork to ensure that we’re keeping AI safe both now and in the future.”

    The UK and the United States have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue. Reflecting the importance of ongoing international collaboration, today’s announcement will also see both countries sharing vital information about the capabilities and risks associated with AI models and systems, as well as fundamental technical research on AI safety and security. This will work to underpin a common approach to AI safety testing, allowing researchers on both sides of the Atlantic—and around the world—to coalesce around a common scientific foundation.

    The move comes just weeks after the EU passed the world’s first AI regulation act – the EU AI Act – in mid-March, which aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI, while boosting innovation and establishing Europe as a leader in the field. The regulation establishes obligations for AI based on its potential risks and level of impact.

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