Government publishes report on AI capabilities and risks

The UK government has officially published a report on the capabilities and risks for frontier AI, ahead of the AI Safety Summit next week.

The report draws on a range of sources, including UK intelligence assessments.

The report will serve as a discussion paper at the summit.

The report is divided into three parts, the first of which is Capabilities and risks from frontier AI. This focuses on the need for further research into AI risk and covers the current state of frontier AI capabilities, how these might improve in the future, as well as the risks they currently present, including societal harms, misuse and loss of control.

The second section Safety and Security Risks of Generative Artificial Intelligence to 2025 draws on sources including intelligence assessments, which states that generative AI development has the potential to bring significant global benefits but will also increase risks to safety and security by enhancing threat actor capabilities and increasing the effectiveness of attacks.

Finally, Future Risks of Frontier AI, a report from the Government Office for Science, considers key uncertainties in frontier AI development, the risks future systems might pose, and a range of potential scenarios for AI out to 2030.

Technology secretary Michelle Donelan said: “This marks a watershed moment, as the UK becomes the first country in the world to formally summarise the risks presented by this powerful technology.

“There is no question that AI can and will transform the world for the better, from making everyday tasks easier, to improving healthcare and tackling global challenges like world hunger and climate change. But we cannot harness its benefits without also tackling the risks.

“No country can do this alone, which is why we will be welcoming governments, academics, civil society groups and businesses to Bletchley Park next month to build a shared understanding of the risks while discussing how we can develop and use AI safely and responsibly so that it changes lives for the better.”

In a speech later today, prime minister Rishi Sunak is expected to say: "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. But it also brings new dangers and new fears.

“So, 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.

“Doing the right thing, not the easy thing, means being honest with people about the risks from these technologies.”

Image by Sambeet D from Pixabay

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