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Downing Street considers creating AI Safety Institute

Written by Thu 12 Oct 2023

Downing Street officials have considered the creation of an AI Safety Institute, with a focus on enabling national security-related scrutiny of frontier artificial intelligence (AI) models. 

The proposed institute is expected to be a topic on the draft agenda for the AI Safety Summit, where global leaders will gather to collaborate on AI development 

Advisers to Rishi Sunak have been cooperating internationally with counterparts from China to the EU and the US. Their goal is to finalise a warning statement on the risk of artificial intelligence ahead of the AI Safety Summit. 

Last week, the Prime Minister’s representative expressed scepticism regarding the establishment of the AI Safety Institute. However, he stressed the need for collaboration, stating it was ‘key’ in managing frontier AI risks and ensuring the safe development of AI. 

“We have been very clear that these discussions will involve exploring areas for potential collaboration on AI safety research, including evaluation and standards,” said a Government spokesperson. 

A Government spokesperson said discussions on this work are underway and are making good progress. This includes discussing how the Government can collaborate across countries, firms, and with technical experts to evaluate frontier models. 

“Establishing an AI Safety Institute will play a key role in tackling the risk posed by AI regarding the cyber threat, allowing frontier AI models to be scrutinised,” said Oseloka Obiora, Chief Technology Officer at Riversafe, a cybersecurity services provider. 

Obiora stated this will support businesses in AI implementation and strengthen their cybersecurity measures to manage risks effectively. 

A recent UK Commons report stressed the need for rapid governance for rising AI challenges. The overriding message urged the UK Government to accelerate the establishment of a governance regime for AI, including ‘whatever statutory measures as may be needed’.

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Written by Thu 12 Oct 2023

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