U.S. and UK Form Partnership to Accelerate AI Safety Testing

The United States has entered into an agreement with the United Kingdom to collaboratively develop safety tests for the most advanced AI models. The memorandum of understanding aims at evaluating the societal and national defense risks posed by advanced models. Coming after commitments made at the AI Safety Summit in November, the deal is being described as the world’s first bilateral agreement on AI safety. The agreement, signed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, envisions the countries “working to align their scientific approaches” and to accelerate evaluations for AI models, systems and agents.

The announcement comes as the governments of various territories grapple with regulating artificial intelligence, something the UK was the first to achieve.

“The U.S. and UK AI Safety Institutes have laid out plans to build a common approach to AI safety testing and to share their capabilities to ensure these risks can be tackled effectively,” the Commerce Department announced, explaining plans to “perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model.”

“The deal will enable the UK’s new AI Safety Institute, which was established in November, and its U.S. equivalent, which has not yet been formed, to share their expertise and know-how via secondments of researchers from both countries. In addition, the institutes are also expected to work together to evaluate private AI models built by companies such as OpenAI and Google,” writes SiliconANGLE.

The agreement is expected to build on the Bletchley Declaration signed among 27 nations at a meeting in the UK’s Bletchley Park in November.

“We all know AI is the defining technology of our generation,” Raimondo told Reuters, adding that she plans to “raise AI issues at a meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council in Belgium Thursday.” The Biden administration is “pulling in the full resources of the U.S. government” to gear up for AI safety guardrails, Raimondo said, citing imminent plans to announce additions to its AI team.

The most advanced AI , referred to as “frontier models,” are growing at a rapid clip. “Under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the UK has tried to take leading role in marshaling nations to come up with an effective international response,” SiliconANGLE writes, detailing how the UK “convened the world’s first ever AI Safety Summit and it has committed £100 million ($125 million) towards its new AI Safety Institute.”

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