UK MPs Propose Allies Form AI Union to Guard Against Adversaries

UK MPs Propose Allies Form AI Union to Guard Against Adversaries

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(Bloomberg) — The UK should work with its democratic allies to discuss defenses against hostile uses of artificial intelligence, according to an influential group of MPs, as London seeks to play a central role in the development of the emerging technology. 

Britain should join with “like-minded countries who share liberal, democratic values, to ensure mutual protection against those actors—state and otherwise—who are enemies of these values and would use AI to achieve their ends,” according to a report published Thursday by the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, which advises the government on policy.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to host a summit of world leaders and tech chiefs in early November at World War II code-breaking hub Bletchley Park to develop “guardrails” for AI, in an attempt to play a bigger role in regulating the technology while also turning the UK into a hub for the industry. 

The report cites the potential of AI to proliferate deepfakes to mislead the public or create new biological and chemical weapons as among the dangers that bad actors could exploit.

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There’s been debate in the government on whether to include China in the November meeting, which will invite Group of Seven leaders and industry chiefs, Bloomberg reported earlier this month, citing people familiar with the discussions. 

Sunak should invite China in order “to have as many voices there as possible,” SIT Committee Chairman Greg Clark said at a press conference on the report. 

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“But it needs to be accompanied with the caveat that we don’t expect that some of the security aspects to be resolved at that level,” he added. “Our recommendation would be that we’d need a more trusted forum for that.” 

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The UK already works internationally on national security with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the intelligence-sharing group Five Eyes, and is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The committee of MPs will travel to Washington to meet US regulators in mid-September and will also meet European counterparts before it issues a second and final report near the end of the year, Clark said. 

The report said the government should prepare an AI bill for debate in Parliament’s next session, which opens on Nov. 7, or risk being left behind by other legislation, including the EU’s AI Act, which is currently under discussion. 

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