Late in the game: Sunak and Starmer in policy scramble as AI surges ahead
Rishi Sunak will set out his views on artificial intelligence (AI) next week to an audience of technology industry insiders during a keynote speech at London Tech Week. Twenty-four hours later, the Labour leader Keir Starmer will do the same.
The prime minister and Starmer have a habit of speaking at the same venue within a day of each other they did so at the beginning of the year when setting out their competing visions for the country from the same room at the Olympic Park in east London.
The fact they are doing so again but on the far more technical and detailed question of AI shows how quickly the issue has rocketed up the political agenda.
We have been working on AI policy for a long time, said one government official. But suddenly the interest in this work has spiked. Everyone wants to weigh in, from cabinet ministers, to industry, to academia.
The shift has come from the top of government. Sunak himself, who used to speak enthusiastically about the opportunities AI presents, has gone on something of a re-education course, meeting industry executives and issuing statements about the existential risks it poses.