Weekly news update
“AI will bring new knowledge, new opportunities for economic growth… and the chance to solve problems we once thought beyond us”
Ahead of this week’s first ever Artificial Intelligence (AI) Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, Rishi Sunak delivered a speech last Thursday on the global responsibility required to address and build a shared understanding of the risks posed by AI. Also, to realise its benefits and identify opportunities for future generations.
During the speech, delivered at the Royal Society in London, the Prime Minister announced the development of a UK-based AI Safety Institute targeted to help the world assess new types of AI, the first organisation of its kind. In addition, Mr Sunak also outlined intentions for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to be adopted as a model for an expert panel to achieve international consensus on the state of AI science – a prime area for discussion during the summit. A package of measures were also announced to pursue possible AI opportunities, including a £2.5bn investment in computing power for use by businesses and researchers developing AI in the UK.
Summit attendees are expected to include US Vice President Kamala Harris and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis.
The five key summit objectives set out by the government are:
- A shared understanding of the risks posed by frontier AI and action required
- A forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety
- Determining measures that organisations should take to improve frontier AI safety
- Identifying areas for collaboration on AI safety research
- Showcasing how the safe development of AI will enable it to be used positively across the globe.
The national speech from the Prime Minister follows the publishing of a landmark AI paper from the UK government on the capabilities and risks the emerging technology poses. Mr Sunak professed, “AI will bring new knowledge, new opportunities for economic growth, new advances in human capability, and the chance to solve problems we once thought beyond us,” however he did caution, “it also brings new dangers and new fears.”
He continued, “The responsible thing for me to do is to address those fears head-on, giving you the peace of mind that we will keep you safe, while making sure you and your children have all the opportunities for a better future that AI can bring.”
The PM said his genuine belief is, “that technology like artificial intelligence will bring a transformation as far reaching as the industrial revolution, the coming of electricity or the birth of the internet.”
Strong car production growth in September
The latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows robust manufacturing growth in September, registering an increase of 39.8%, the highest recorded monthly growth this year and the best September in three years. That represents 88,230 vehicles, 25,105 more than the number rolling off factory lines in August. Although the SMMT state that ‘urgent action’ is needed to make sure the UK and EU trade of electric vehicles remain competitive going into 2024, when tougher rules of origin for batteries come into force.
Chief Executive at the SMMT Mike Hawes, commented on the latest dataset, “A particularly strong period of car making is good news for the UK, given the thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment that depend on the sector.”
Bank Rate decision
The next Monetary Policy Committee meeting will conclude on 2 November. There are expectations from a Reuters poll of economists that Bank Rate will be retained at 5.25%, with 61 of the 73 individuals polled believing this will be the case. The remaining 12 economists predict a quarter point rise to 5.50%.
On the continent last week, as widely expected the European Central Bank (ECB) retained their main interest rates.
In the US, the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is scheduled to be held on 1 November. The Fed may choose to hold rates at their current 5.25% to 5.5% range. Any indication of potential interest rate intentions into 2024 will be closely monitored.
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