UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) outlined ambitions for the country to become the global home for AI safety regulation, while announcing deals with Google DeepMind, Anthropic and OpenAI enabling the nation to access models for research and safety purposes.

In a speech to kick-off London Tech Week, Sunak pitched a vision of the UK leading work into responsible AI through cutting-edge safety research; fostering global cooperation between nations and laboratories; and ensuring the country seizes on the potential of the technology to improve lives and transform public services.

Sunak said while the technology’s opportunities are extraordinary, “we must and we will do it safely”.

As governments begin to look at ways to ensure innovation of the technology continues while regulations limit the potential impact of rapid development on society, Sunak said he wants the UK be the “intellectual home” for AI and a leader in global safety regulation.

The country is scheduled to host a US-backed summit on the risks and regulation of AI later this year, an event Sunak likened to annual COP climate-change meetings.

Sunak said the partnerships with Google DeepMind, OpenAI and Anthropic will enable the UK to gain “early or priority access” to models, helping to “build better evaluations and help us better understand the opportunities and risks of these systems”.

The Prime Minister also discussed an AI taskforce which is being established, modelled on one the UK used during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.