Tech leaders challenge UK PM Rishi Sunak ahead of AI summit
The week of the UK Government’s AI Safety Summit has begun with multiple open letters to the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, from tech leaders calling for more inclusivity for smaller AI firms, and highlighting the need for stronger regulation.
Trade unions and rights campaigners accused the UK government of “squeezing out” millions of workers from the summit this week in an open letter, stating it is wholly giving the platform to Big Tech.
The open letter, signed by more than 100 individuals and groups from around the world, reads: “Small businesses and artists are being squeezed out, and innovation smothered as a handful of big tech companies capture even more power and influence.”
Signatories include workers’ organisations such as the UK’s Trades Union Congress and the International Trade Union Confederation. The letter also calls for more urgency on AI regulation: “For many millions of people in the UK and across the world, the risks and harms of AI are not distant – they are felt in here and now.”
“To make AI truly safe we must tackle these and many other issues of huge individual and societal significance. Successfully doing so will lay the foundations for managing future risks.”
In another open letter, Tech Nation – ‘The UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs’ – writes on behalf of a group of tech leaders to highlight how the summit is ‘a moment of critical importance’ for the UK.
Signed by 20 AI founders, the letter urges the UK government to “cultivate the AI startup ecosystem” in a bid to rival big tech dominance.
The open letter also called on the government to open UK datasets in a safe way “to maximise their value before it is eroded through inaction,” to “upskill our existing outcomes-focused regulators with AI proficiency,” and to “adopt AI products and services across government departments.”
Commenting on the open letter, CEO of marketing automation platform, Deployteq, Sjuul van der Leeuw, said: “The AI Safety Summit is just days away and it is important for the UK to take the lead in providing guidance and regulations for the world to follow.”
“AI offers huge business benefits, however, the challenges it presents must be overcome with the correct support from government and policymakers.”
Click here for more news and features on Artificial Intelligence
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter