The United Kingdom has been granted early access to the AI models of Google DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic – three tech companies renowned as the world’s top providers of generative AI technologies – as recently declared by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
During his speech to open London Tech Week, a festival that brings together the brightest minds and talents of the future, Rishi Sunak made the announcement.
He stated this while outlining a three-part approach to guaranteeing that AI systems in the U.K. are implemented in a safe and dependable way. According to a transcript of the address, the initial step is to do advanced safety research.
The prime minister went on to state that the U.K.’s second step is to acknowledge that AI, as a technology, is not bound by standard international boundaries, thus necessitating the formation of an international task force.
Finally, Sunak stated that the third step is to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies in order to make use of the great potential of AI to improve people’s lives. He mentioned that the U.K. had already taken steps in this direction by investing $1.125 billion and $2.75 billion, respectively, for compute and quantum technologies.
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It is still not known precisely what kind of “early or priority” access the U.K. government will be given, or when this access will be granted.
Google DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic have in the past provided betas and restricted viewings of their extensive language models (like Google’s Bard, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Anthropic’s Claude). All three companies have additionally put money into both internal tests conducted by their own scientists and external assessments with contracted professionals.
The prime minister did not specify if the U.K. would get access to production models before the general public, contractors, or if the pledge was merely to provide access to the government and other priority scientists.
At present, the U.K. is actively engaged in regulatory efforts. Parliament is striving to provide citizens with comprehensive safeguards in response to the current surge in generative AI, as well as facing mounting calls to regulate cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web3 technologies.
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