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UK AI safety body to open San Francisco office

UK AI safety body to open San Francisco office

The UK’s body for AI safety is expanding overseas with an office in San Francisco set to open in the summer.

Announced on Monday, the expansion of the AI Safety Institute – founded by Tech Secretary Michelle Donelan and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year – will position the British organisation close to US AI giants such as OpenAI, Microsoft AI and Anthropic.

Donelan described the new office as a “pivotal moment in the UK’s ability to study both the risks and potential of AI from a global lens” that would strengthen the UK’s partnership with the US and “pave the way for other countries to tap into our expertise as we continue to lead the world on AI safety”.

Donelan added that the San Francisco expansion is “central” to her plan to “set new, international standards on AI safety”.

The announcement follows the signing of a joint agreement between the UK and US governments to collaborate on AI safety tests.

The institute was established after the AI Safety Summit last November, tasked with ensuring the development of advanced AI technology comes with protections.

The group, which consists of AI researchers from the likes of Google DeepMind, has been testing the safety of various AI models.

The AI Safety Institute released results from tests of five publicly available advanced AI models alongside the announcement.

The results showed that all tested models were “highly vulnerable to basic jailbreaks” with some producing “harmful outputs” without “dedicated attempts to circumvent safeguards”.

“Our evaluations will help to contribute to an empirical assessment of model capabilities and the lack of robustness when it comes to existing safeguards,” said AI Safety Institute chair Ian Hogarth.

“AI safety is still a very young and emerging field. These results represent only a small portion of the evaluation approach AISI is developing.”

The follow-up to the AI Safety Summit is set to take place in Seoul, South Korea, this week.

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