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UK Government announce £100 million for next generation of “safe AI”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan have declared a £100 million expenditure for funding a Foundation Model Taskforce which will “build and adopt” the next generation of safe AI. 


The artificial intelligence age seems well upon us, as the UK government announces their own dedication to the expansion of new AI. The current expansion of AI looks to not be slowing down any time soon, from ChatGPT influencing education to AI-generated pictures and singers. The UK now joins the masses of people flocking to AI for the next advancement in technology. 


The Taskforce is being modelled on the success of COVID-19 Vaccines Taskforce, aiming to develop a safe and reliable use of AI across the economy. The government is also hoping it will aid the UK in becoming more globally competitive in the technology field. Hopes are that for areas like healthcare the AI has the potential to speed up diagnoses, drug discovery and development. And for education, a transformative effect could be witnessed for the day-to-day work of teachers, freeing up admin-allocated time for teachers to improve the quality of teaching. 


Government used-AI is not currently uncommon, with US governments slowly trialling attempts at AI. Los Angeles, the US’s second-largest city, is pioneering the field, releasing technologies that aid police recruitment all the way to parking tickets and potholes. ChatGPT was asked how it might help and change the way people deal with the government, giving a response that “the next generation of AI, which includes ChatGPT, has the potential to revolutionise the way governments interact with their citizens.” With the UK hoping to be at the forefront of producing the new generation of AI, UK citizens may bear witness to this revolution from the front lines. 


Concerns have arisen though with a potential AI-influenced policy following elements of biased in the systems. CEO of OpenAI, the software lab behind ChatGPT, Sam Altman took to Twitter to state “we know ChatGPT has shortcomings around bias, and are working to improve it.” Altman went on to confirm the team is “working to improve the default settings to be more neutral, and also to empower users to get our systems to behave in accordance with their individual preferences.” Whilst new advancements may quickly patch any cautions, a huge warning has been signalled here, showing potential for a huge mechanism that would misjudge and automatically prejudice already disadvantaged groups and individuals.


The leader of the UK Taskforce is anticipated to be announced later in the summer, with Matt Clifford, Chair of the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency, advising the Prime Minister on how the development is going.


Alarmingly amongst new research, AI researchers have given AI at least a 10% chance of causing human extinction. 


Editorial Credit: Sushmita Regmi

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