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UK and US Sign ‘Landmark’ AI Safety Agreement in Effort to Tackle ‘Full Spectrum’ of Associated Risk

The UK and the US have signed a bilateral artificial intelligence (AI) agreement to collaborate in mitigating the risk of AI models; following commitments made at the AI Safety Summit in November 2023. 

Following this partnership, both the UK and the US will build a common approach to AI safety testing and work closely to accelerate robust suites of evaluations for AI models, systems and agents. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan, on behalf of the UK, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, on behalf of the US.

Both countries have set out plans to share their capabilities to ensure they can effectively tackle AI risks. The UK and US AI Safety Institutes intend to perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model. They also intend to tap into a collective pool of expertise by exploring personnel exchanges between the Institutes.

“This agreement represents a landmark moment, as the UK and the US deepen our enduring special relationship to address the defining technology challenge of our generation,” explained Donelan.

The partnership will take effect immediately and is intended to enable both organisations to work seamlessly with one another. As AI rapidly develops, both governments recognise the need to act now to ensure a shared approach to AI safety which can keep pace with the technology’s emerging risks.

Raimondo said: “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. 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.”

Assessing generative AI
Dr Henry Balani, global head of industry and regulatory affairs, Encompass Corporation, UK US AI
Dr Henry Balani, global head of industry and regulatory affairs, Encompass Corporation

Henry Balani, global head of industry and regulatory affairs at Encompass Corporation, said: “Generative AI, in particular, has a huge role to play across the financial services industry, improving the accuracy and speed of detection of financial crime by analysing large data sets, for example.

“Mitigating the risks of AI, through this collaboration agreement with the US, is a key step towards mitigating risks of financial crime, fostering collaboration and supporting innovation in a crucial, advancing area of technology.

“Generative AI is here to augment the work of staff across the financial services sector, and particularly KYC analysts, by streamlining processes and combing through vast data sets quickly and accurately. But for this to be truly effective, banks and financial institutions need to first put in place robust digital and automated processes to optimise data quality and deliver deeper customer insights, which can help to fuel the use of generative AI.”

Perttu Nihti, chief product officer of Basware, also discussed the importance of AI: “AI can significantly bolster the accuracy of fraud detection through sophisticated algorithms that analyse vast amounts of data to detect outliers and suspicious activity indicative of fraudulent behaviour. Not only that, but AI algorithms can be trained to minimise and reduce false positives which limits the number of legitimate transactions that are mistakenly flagged as fraudulent.

“As CFOs battle against the rising tide of fraud, implementing AI and ML solutions through partner organisations is a good way to share the compliance burden. The CFO is ultimately responsible, but having a trusted partner who can stay on top of evolving mandates and regulations, as well as reduce the risk of fraud through technology can help share the load.”

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