US and UK to join forces in AI safety testing

2 Apr 2024

Image: © Who is Danny/

The safety institutes of these countries plan to share information and personnel as they work to establish joint AI safety testing methods.

The US and UK have agreed to work together to develop common testing approaches for AI models, with safety being a key focus.

The signed memorandum of understanding will see the AI safety institutes of the US and the UK work “seamlessly” with each other on research, safety evaluations and guidance for AI safety. The institutes will cooperate and share information to develop shared capabilities.

The US Department of Commerce said both countries will align their scientific approaches and create robust suites of evaluations for AI models, in order to deal with the risks associated with this technology.

The two safety institutes plan to perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model, as part of their plans to make a common approach to AI safety testing. These institutes also plan to combine their expertise by exchanging personnel between the two organisations.

The new agreement follows commitments made by the two countries at the AI Safety Summit that took place last November in the UK. The latest agreement was signed by US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and UK technology secretary Michelle Donelan.

Donelan said the new agreement is a “landmark moment” that aims to address the “defining technology challenge of our generation”.

“We have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue,” Donelan said. “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.”

Meanwhile, the EU’s long-awaited rules to regulate the growing AI sector were finally approved last month, as the AI Act was officially adopted in a landslide vote.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic