UK and US sign landmark AI deal

09 April 2024

The UK and US have signed a landmark artificial intelligence (AI) agreement to collaborate on testing and mitigating the risks of AI models.

The deal is the first global bilateral agreement on AI safety, bringing together the UK and US governments to share technical knowledge, information, and talent on AI safety. The deal was signed by UK technology secretary Michelle Donelan and US commerce secretary Fina Raimondo.

“The next year is when we’ve really got to act quickly because the next generation of models are coming out, which could be complete game-changers, and we don’t know the full capabilities that they will offer yet. The fact that the United States, a great AI powerhouse, is signing this agreement with us, the United Kingdom, speaks volumes for how we are leading the way on AI safety,” said Donelan.

Under the deal, the UK’s new AI Safety Institute and the subsequent US organisation, which is yet to begin work, will exchange research expertise with the aim of mitigating the risks of AI, including how to independently evaluate private AI models from organisations such as OpenAI. The partnership is modelled on the security collaboration between GCHQ and the National Security Agency.

Donelan said that the UK has no plans to regulate AI more broadly in the short term. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has taken a stricter position on AI models that threaten national security. Elsewhere, the EU AI Act, passed in April, has taken a tougher stance on AI regulation to slow down rapid advancement and put-up guardrails.