The deputy PM plans to inform the UN that AI poses a threat to global stability.

Deputy PM Oliver DowdenGetty Images

The deputy prime minister is set to caution that unless governments take action, artificial intelligence has the potential to disrupt the global order.

Oliver Dowden will tell the UN the pace of development risks outstripping governments’ ability to make it safe.

In November, a global summit will be held in the UK to address the regulation of AI.

There are concerns that in the absence of regulations, AI could potentially lead to job loss, amplify misinformation, or perpetuate discrimination.

‘Falling behind’

“I cannot reword.”

Currently, global regulation is lagging behind the latest advancements.

Previously, governments have established regulations as a response to technological advancements. However, now it is imperative to create rules simultaneously with the progress of AI.

AI companies should not evaluate their own work, similar to how governments and citizens need assurance that risks are adequately addressed.

And only action by nation states can reassure the public the most significant national-security concerns have been allayed.

Mr Dowden will also warn, however, against becoming “trapped in debates about whether it is a tool for good or a tool for ill – it will be a tool for both”.

‘Looking ahead’

Prof Andrew Rogoyski, from the University of Surrey, stated to BBC News that the swift advancements in certain AI systems have left numerous experts astonished, with horizons appearing to shrink.

However, Marc Warner, the CEO of, emphasized the significance of differentiating between narrow AI, which is developed to perform a particular task like detecting cancer indications in radiology scans, and general artificial intelligence.

“He mentioned that these algorithms possess potent characteristics which we currently cannot consistently anticipate their emergence,” he stated.

“I am not particularly concerned about the current generation of technologies personally, but I believe it is prudent for the government to anticipate the development of increasingly advanced versions and consider potential actions to address them.”

“I have been actively engaged in the AI safety domain for approximately 10 to 15 years, and a few years ago, this discussion was largely disregarded.”

“For me, simply initiating a meaningful global dialogue on the subject of AI safety is already a significant achievement.”

Expert Yasmin Afina from Chatham House

Yasmin Afina/BBC

Other leading AI companies agree there is a need for regulation. Following a recent closed-door meeting of technology bosses, in Washington, Elon Musk said there was an “overwhelming consensus” for it.

However, Yasmin Afina, a member of the Chatham House think tank focused on international affairs, expressed that achieving a prompt global consensus would pose challenges.

She stated that while it took a significant amount of time for people to reach a consensus on nuclear weapons, negotiating an agreement on AI, given its complexity and distinctiveness as a technology, would not be an easy task.

Ms Afina stated that smaller countries, marginalized communities, and individuals from ethnic minorities must have a significant say in order to avoid exclusion.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak desires for the UK to be at the forefront. However, the Commons Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee cautioned last month that if a law is not swiftly implemented, the European Union’s AI Act could potentially establish itself as a worldwide benchmark, overshadowing the UK’s endeavors.

Mr. Warner, who was once a member of the AI council that no longer exists and provided advice to the government, stated that the UK has the potential to become a frontrunner in developing technology that ensures the safety of AI, but only if it is willing to make the necessary investments.

“I find it to be a highly pragmatic compromise,” he expressed, “as the current investment in that area is relatively minimal.”

Related Topics

  • Artificial intelligence
  • United Nations
  • United States