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US and UK announce formal partnership on artificial intelligence safety

Countries sign memorandum to develop advanced AI model testing amid growing safety concerns.

The United States and Britain on Monday announced a new partnership on the science of artificial intelligence safety, amid growing concerns about upcoming next-generation versions.

The US commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, and British technology secretary, Michelle Donelan, signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington DC to work jointly to develop advanced AI model testing, following commitments announced at an AI safety summit in Bletchley Park in November.

“We all know AI is the defining technology of our generation,” Raimondo said. “This partnership will accelerate both of our institutes’ work across the full spectrum to address the risks of our national security concerns and the concerns of our broader society.”

Under the formal partnership, Britain and the United States plan to perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model and are considering exploring personnel exchanges between the institutes. Both are working to develop similar partnerships with other countries to promote AI safety.

“This is the first agreement of its kind anywhere in the world,” Donelan said. “AI is already an extraordinary force for good in our society, and has vast potential to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, but only if we are able to grip those risks.”

Generative AI – which can create text, photos and videos in response to open-ended prompts – has spurred excitement as well as fears it could make some jobs obsolete, upend elections and potentially overpower humans since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022.

Both countries plan to share key information on capabilities and risks associated with AI models and systems and technical research on AI safety and security.

In October, Joe Biden signed an executive order that aims to reduce the risks of AI. In January, the commerce department said it was proposing to require US cloud companies to determine whether foreign entities are accessing US data centers to train AI models.

Britain said in February it would spend more than £100m ($125.5m) to launch nine new research hubs and train AI regulators about the technology.


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