Sir Keir Starmer has revealed he gets ChatGPT lessons from his son as the Labour leader gets to grips with the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).
Speaking at London Tech Week, Sir Keir said he was “really struck” by the rapid rate of change in the sector, which could present “incredible opportunities” to modernise the NHS.
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He cited radiologists using AI to detect cancer as an example of how it could help the health service.
But he said the tech could also have a transformative impact on the jobs market – and not necessarily for the better.
“Some jobs being done now by people will almost certainly be done by AI,” he warned, risking the widening of inequality between the richest and poorest.
“The government is right to focus on AI, but there is a long way to go in terms of regulation – and a much more informed discussion about jobs is vitally important.”
‘ChatGPT will be major part of my son’s life’
Alongside the threat to jobs, Sir Keir said AI could be used to spread misinformation.
While generative AI like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have impressed users with their ability to write essays and pass exams, they have also been shown liable for inheriting biases and confidently writing falsehoods.
Sir Keir joked that much of his exposure to ChatGPT had come via his children.
“I have a masterclass on ChatGPT almost every day because I’ve got a 14-year-old son who looks at it all the time and shows me what it’s capable of,” he said.
“It’s something he thinks is really interesting – and will be a major part of his life.”
UK’s push for AI leadership role
Ahead of Sir Keir’s appearance at London Tech Week, a report by former Labour prime minister Tony Blair and former Conservative leader William Hague suggested the UK can establish a “national laboratory” to test AI to become the “brain” of a British and international regulator.
The report, titled A New National Purpose: AI Promises a World-Leading Future of Britain, suggests the national lab would work with the private sector and other nations in researching and testing the technology.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke at the tech event on Monday, where he reinforced his desire to make the UK a global hub for AI development and regulation.
He has recently met bosses of US tech giants including Google and ChatGPT creator OpenAI to discuss the sudden explosion of AI adoption across the economy.
The government has also announced Britain will host a global conference in the autumn to debate the regulatory “guardrails” that will mitigate future risks from the tech, which Mr Sunak compared to the COP climate summits.