Britain is “better off outside the European Union”, one of the co-founders of Facebook has said, urging PM Rishi Sunak to make the most of the UK’s hard-won Brexit freedoms.
Dustin Moskovitz, who is now the CEO and majority owner of software firm Asana, worth an estimated £3.4billion, tipped the UK to become a world leader in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) – leaving the bloc trailing in its wake.
Mr Moskovitz, 39, who became the world’s youngest billionaire, aged just 27, in 2011 after selling his two percent stake in the social media giant, was speaking in advance of a UK-organised major summit bringing together 100 technology leaders at Bletchley Park in Bedfordshire.
Declaring it to be “better that the UK is out of the EU” when it came to harnessing the power of AI, Mr Moskovitz said he was “far more concerned about regulatory friction” within the EU27 countries.
Referring to algorithms such as OpenAI’s ChaptGPT, he continued: “The UK is talking about AI in more appropriate ways. The EU could ban large language models completely.
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“They’re not compatible with GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] and the right to be forgotten.
“So you either ignore that law or you need a new one.”
Britain was “taking a much more forward approach on developing the technology and acting more like leaders who want to find the way forward”, he stressed.
Separately, an independent report published on Friday by Oxford Information Labs suggested the AI Standards Hub, launched last October, was already bolstering the UK’s position in the AI race.
Almost 70 percent of participants confirmed that the Hub has empowered the UK AI community to influence and participate in setting standards, and 67 percent considered the Hub as the top coalition in the UK for promoting international discussions in AI standards.
Speaking last week, Downing Street said it was “confident” key players will attend the Bletchley Park event despite reports German Chancellor Olaf Scholz may skip it.
Mr Sunak hopes the summit on AI safety will cement the UK’s status as a leading world player in cutting-edge technology.
However, it is not yet clear which international leaders will attend the gathering at Bletchley Park in November which is intended to discuss how to ensure AI can be used safely around the world.
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The BBC reported that Mr Scholz could turn down the invitation, potentially leading to other leaders declining the chance to attend.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are confident that the summit will bring together the right group of individuals to discuss this important issue.
“But I’m not going to get into speculation, it will be for other countries to set out their attendance.”
The Cabinet meeting last Tuesday received an update on preparations for the summit, championed by Mr Sunak himself.
The spokesman said it would be “the first time that international partners, AI experts and tech companies and civil society will come together in this way to build a shared understanding of risk and inform a shared approach to safety at the frontier of AI development”.
He added: “The Prime Minister made clear that it is only by managing the risks around AI that we can reap its benefits as a powerful tool for good; improving lives; boosting productivity; delivering better public services and growing our economy.”
The UK was “uniquely placed” to lead international cooperation on the agenda, Cabinet was told.
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Frontier AI taskforce chairman Ian Hogarth have both updated ministers on the preparations for the summit.
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