US, Britain announce partnership on AI safety, testing

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The United States and Britain have announced a new partnership to address growing concerns about the safety of upcoming next-generation versions of artificial intelligence (AI). Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and British Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington to jointly develop advanced AI model testing, following commitments announced at an AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park in November.


The two countries are among those establishing government-led AI safety institutes. Britain’s institute will examine and test new types of AI, while the United States will evaluate risks from so-called frontier AI models and is currently working with 200 companies and entities. 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.


In a joint interview, Raimondo and Donelan stressed the need for urgent joint action to address AI risks as the next set of models are about to be released, which will be much more capable. The two countries plan to share key information on capabilities and risks associated with AI models and systems and technical research on AI safety and security.


The Biden administration plans to soon announce additions to its AI team, Raimondo said. In October, Biden signed an executive order that aims to reduce the risks of AI. In January, the Commerce Department proposed to require U.S. cloud companies to determine whether foreign entities are accessing U.S. data centers to train AI models. Britain said it would spend more than £100 million ($125.5 million) to launch nine new research hubs and AI train regulators about the technology.

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