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UK Says Humanity Can Lose Control of Risks of AI, and it's not in a Rush to Regulate

UK Prime Minister acknowledges the risks of AI, including the potential loss of control, but emphasizes the importance of government-led global collaboration to maximize AI’s potential for good.

The UK Prime Minister acknowledges the risks of AI, including the potential loss of control.
Creator: IR_Stone | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

LONDON, UK – In a recent speech, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the need to address the risks associated with AI while highlighting its tremendous benefits.

Understanding the Risks of AI

Sunak acknowledged that there is a remote but possible risk that humanity could "lose control" of AI, especially in the context of "superintelligence" AI. While he urged against alarmism, he emphasized that these risks should be taken seriously. The consequences of losing control over AI could be severe, with the potential for it to be used in nefarious ways, such as building chemical or biological weapons.

Recognizing that AI is not confined by borders, the UK is also hosting the world's first Global AI Safety Summit. This event will bring together key stakeholders, including AI companies, political leaders, and experts, to discuss the nature of AI risks and establish a global expert panel to assess these risks. Sunak emphasized the importance of engaging all leading AI powers, including inviting China, in finding a shared understanding of AI risks.

Not in a Hurry to Regulate

Sunak stressed that only governments have the authority and legitimacy to assess the risks posed by AI comprehensively. He argued that relying on private companies to regulate themselves is insufficient, given the potential national security implications. To address these concerns, the UK is taking a unique approach – instead of rushing to regulate AI, they are investing in understanding and evaluating AI safety through the establishment of the world's first AI Safety Institute.

Sunak stated:

“And in any case, how can we write laws that make sense for something we don’t yet fully understand? So, instead, we’re building world-leading capability to understand and evaluate the safety of AI models within government.”

While addressing AI risks, Sunak also highlighted the immense potential of AI to solve some of the world's most significant challenges, from energy production to healthcare. The UK is committed to promoting AI for the betterment of society, investing in supercomputing, and quantum computing, and accelerating AI's use in revolutionary treatments for diseases.


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