UNITED KINGDOM Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said the West must engage in talks with China over how best to regulate the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), after Britain invited the country to its global AI summit later this year.
“They won’t come to all the discussions, but you need to have a dialogue with countries like China, they’re not going away,” Hunt said in a Bloomberg interview on Thursday. “We have to be realistic and we have to have those discussions with our eyes open.”
The UK is preparing to host the first global summit on AI in November, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak trying to position Britain as a leader in global efforts to regulate the technology. This week, his government confirmed it had invited China to the conference, despite opposition from some of Sunak’s own backbenchers.
London is already the base of various unicorns in the field of generative AI, such as Stability AI, an open-source developer, and Synthesia, a creator of text-to-video tools. It’s also home to Alphabet Inc.’s DeepMind, and Britain hopes it can become a technology superpower in this area. However, there’s some skepticism as to whether the UK can compete with the likes of the US, China and the European Union.
“Investors want to see that governments have figured all this stuff out,” Hunt said of the regulation around AI, adding that appropriate “guardrails” should be put in place to keep the technology safe. “Then when they do, they’re going to start to put in really huge sums of money,” he said.
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