Sir Keir Starmer warns AI could ‘worsen inequality and leave some communities poorer’ | UK News

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will warn that artificial intelligence (AI) may worsen inequality and leave some communities poorer.

In a speech at the London Tech Week conference on Tuesday, Sir Keir will argue that while the UK has an opportunity to lead the world in new technologies, it will require partnerships with business for the “public good”.

He is expected to question whether Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is doing enough to bolster the UK’s position as a world leader in AI.

The opposition leader is also expected to speak about the legacy of de-industrialisation in recent decades and warn that the same mistakes cannot be made again as technology advances.

Sir Keir will say in his speech that “our country is facing a choice about who benefits from the huge disruption that tech will bring”.

“Will it be those who already hold wealth and power, or will it be the starter firms trying to break in and disrupt the industry, the patients trying to book an appointment with their GP, the worker using technology to enhance and improve their role.

“Can [AI] help build a society where everyone is included, and inequalities are narrowed not widened?

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“This moment calls for Labour values, of working in partnership with business, driving technology to the public good, and ensuring people and places aren’t left behind.”

Mr Sunak made a speech at the conference on Monday, warning measures are required to protect against the “extreme risks” AI could pose.

Meanwhile, a report by by former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Conservative leader William Hague says the UK should establish a “national laboratory” to test AI to become the “brain” of both a British and international regulator.

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The former leaders argue that a “complete realignment” is needed, including an overhaul of government machinery, to respond to the “radically reshaped” society that the technology is expected to create.

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.

The five-year aim of the lab would be to “form the international regulatory function across the AI ecosystem,” the report says.

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The system would need to be “sufficiently resourced to operate at the cutting edge of AI”, the paper says, citing the £1bn yearly budget for DeepMind – a similar AI research project – as a reference.

Britain should push for a new UN framework on urgent safeguards for the technology along with the US and other allies, the report also concludes.