US, UK Pledge AI Safety Collaboration in a Newly-Signed Memorandum of Understanding

A "landmark moment" for the nations as they agree to pool their resources on the safety of the burgeoning artificial intelligence movement.

The US and the UK have jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that represents a "landmark agreement" between their respective artificial intelligence (AI) safety institutes, as the two nations aim to deliver on commitments made in the "Bletchley Declaration" during the AI Safety Summit late last year.

"AI is the defining technology of our generation. This partnership is going to accelerate both of our Institutes' work across the full spectrum of risks, whether to our national security or to our broader society," claims US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo of the MoU. "Our partnership makes clear that we aren't running away from these concerns – we're running at them.

"Because of our collaboration, our Institutes will gain a better understanding of AI systems, conduct more robust evaluations, and issue more rigorous guidance. By working together, we are furthering the long-lasting special relationship between the US and UK and laying the groundwork to ensure that we're keeping AI safe both now and in the future."

"This agreement represents a landmark moment, as the UK and the United States deepen our enduring special relationship to address the defining technology challenge of our generation," adds UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology Michelle Donelan. "We have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue. Only by working together can we address the technology’s risks head on and harness its enormous potential to help us all live easier and healthier lives.

"The work of our two nations in driving forward AI safety will strengthen the foundations we laid at Bletchley Park in November, and I have no doubt that our shared expertise will continue to pave the way for countries tapping into AI's enormous benefits safely and responsibly."

The MoU, which comes into immediate effect, sees the AI safety institutes of both nations agreeing to share their capabilities and develop a common approach to the safety testing of artificial intelligence systems. It comes on the back of the Bletchley Declaration, signed at historic Bletchley Park in the UK last November as part of the AI Safety Summit, and following a joint publication on secure AI system development by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC).

The two nations' agreement comes as artificial intelligence technologies, and particularly generative AI (gen AI), become more readily accessible — with technology giant Intel even declaring the "age of the AI PC" as it seeks to put the technology in everyone's hands. The industry has yet to sufficiently address concerns regarding its heavy-handed and typically permissionless trawling of data for training purposes, AI's still-common hallucination problem, and its use for malicious activities from deep-fake videos to attempted election interference, however.

More information on the MoU is available on the US Department of Commerce website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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