BREXIT Britain is a “world leader” in artificial intelligence despite naysayers talking the country down, Rishi Sunak said today.
The PM is in Washington DC for talks with President Biden amid chilling warnings the new tech is running riot with a risk to humanity.
Mr Sunak says the emerging software has fantastic potential that will change our lives – but also needs global “guardrails” to avoid any “existential” threat – boasting that he spotted the dangers early.
But pushed during interviews in Washington DC today over whether the UK risks being squeezed between the larger EU bloc and the United States, the PM insisted: “I couldn’t disagree more.”
“When it comes to AI, the UK is unquestionably, by any metric, the leading democratic country outside of the US.
“When you look at the number of AI companies, the funding they received, the quality of our research base and talent we have – all of that is an objective fact.”
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He told Channel 4: “Three of the largest AI companies have opened their international offices [in Britain] and the place they've opened in Europe is the UK.
And he said rather than talking down our place in the world, “actually, we should have confidence in ourselves. I think we are a leading country when it comes to AI.”
He also told TalkTV: “The key with artificial intelligence is to make sure that, I, as Prime Minister of the UK, are doing the things that ensure our country and our citizens benefit from the undeniable opportunities that AI will bring.”
“But also that we protect ourselves against the threats that it poses and we put appropriate guardrails in place.”
And on the threats posed, he insisted “I saw that this was coming and I want to make sure that we are well placed as a country to both benefit from it, but also to be protected against its harms.”
He told Sky News: “I think it's absolutely right that we put guardrails in place because the technology is enormously powerful. It's going to reshape every aspect of our lives.
“And whilst that will bring many opportunities and benefits, it also poses risks not just existential, but also risks of misuse of the technology. And that's why guardrails are important and regulation is important.”
He told ITV News: “My job is to make sure that we as a country are protected and I'm confident actually that we can put the guardrails in place.
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“We've got a strong track record of doing so. Outside of the US our country is the leading democratic nation when it comes to the number of AI companies, the number of researchers, the quality of our research, the money invested in it.
“So I think we can do this and we will do it.”
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