US-UK Pact to Tackle Rapid AI Technology Challenges

The United States and the United Kingdom have forged the world’s first bilateral agreement focusing on AI safety and regulation with a Memorandum of Understanding that hopes to mitigate the risks posed by rapid AI developments.

A New Agreement

The United States and the United Kingdom have just made a landmark agreement centered around advancing artificial intelligence (AI) safety and regulations. This new agreement represents the first formal international cooperation to evaluate and mitigate risks posed by emerging AI technologies.

The agreement was solidified through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in Washington by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and UK Science Minister Michelle Donelan. After making the agreement, Secretary Raimondo said, “AI is the defining technology of our generation.

The First Bilateral Agreement

This new partnership has been praised for being the world’s first bilateral arrangement dedicated to AI safety in the face of the increasing urgency to regulate the potential threats posed by rapid AI developments. 

When speaking on the MOU, Minister Donelan highlighted the importance of a quick and comprehensive response when creating legislation for the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

UK Science Minister Michelle Donelan told the Financial Times, “The next year is when we’ve really got to act quickly because the next generation of [AI] models are coming out, which could be complete game-changers, and we don’t know the full capabilities that they will offer yet.”

Donelan then said, “The fact that the United States, a great AI powerhouse, is signing this agreement with us, the United Kingdom, speaks volumes about how we are leading the way on AI safety.”

Collaboration between these two countries will allow them to share technical knowledge, information, and expertise, ensuring both nations have a better chance at developing comprehensive legislation.

Testing AI

Another part of the agreement states that both countries will develop tests for the most advanced AI models based on prior commitments made at the November 2023 AI Safety Summit. Leading tech companies, including OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Microsoft, and Meta, have also supported this partnership and agreed to have their latest models tested by the new collaborative efforts.

The agreement also creates a framework that will facilitate the exchange of AI experts between the U.S. and UK AI Safety Institutes, increasing the effectiveness of AI testing and scrutiny for both countries.

Secretary Raimondo said, “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.” It is also worth noting that this partnership stems from the longstanding cooperation between the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US National Security Agency.

Both nations have since expressed their commitment to address the risks associated with AI and facilitate its development in a way that maximizes the potential for societal improvements.

A Shared Global Issue

On this topic, Secretary Michelle Donelan said, “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 United States’s Gina Raimondo explained, “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.”

The partnership also acknowledges that the rapid development of AI creates major challenges when attempting to establish safeguards and conduct safety research, highlighting the need to take a balanced and cautious approach.

The post US-UK Pact to Tackle Rapid AI Technology Challenges first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff.

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