The United Kingdom government has unveiled its intention to collaborate with the Nigerian government to address safety and security concerns associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) models.
The Director-General of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Kumar Iyer, made this announcement during the Nigeria Innovation Summit (NIS) held in Lagos.
Speaking to young Nigerian innovators at the event, Iyer stressed the importance of recognizing the potential risks that accompany AI, despite its numerous benefits. He pointed out that non-state entities are increasingly harnessing AI to conduct attacks on nations, thereby enhancing the capabilities of terrorists in manufacturing weapons and orchestrating cyber assaults.
UK Partnership with Nigeria on AI Safety and Security
Regarding the partnership with Nigeria, Iyer emphasized the necessity of global cooperation to confront these AI-related challenges, emphasizing that combating these issues requires collaborative efforts as no single country can tackle them in isolation. He underscored that malicious actors operate across borders, making international cooperation crucial.
Iyer highlighted the significance of the upcoming AI Safety Summit in the UK, scheduled for November 1st and 2nd. This summit represents the first-ever international initiative to address the risks and threats associated with AI. He expressed the UK’s commitment to working closely with its partners, including Nigeria, and clarified that addressing AI risks should not be conflated with the potential hazards stemming from innovation.
The collaboration with Nigeria will encompass several areas, such as enhancing AI datasets in sectors unique to Nigeria, such as education, healthcare, and agricultural diseases. Additionally, the partnership will focus on AI safety, specifically the security implications posed by frontier AI models.
Iyer noted that while AI has been in existence for some time, recent advancements in generative AI and large language models have significantly altered the technology landscape.
He explained that the UK is exploring ways to manage the associated risks, emphasizing that the country has no plans to establish a large regulatory body exclusively for sector-specific AI risks.
Iyer offered guidance to governments worldwide, urging them not to rush into AI regulation but instead adopt a measured approach to develop regulatory frameworks over an extended period.
This approach ensures that AI regulations are well-informed, adaptable, and able to address evolving challenges in the AI landscape.
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