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Declaration of the U.S. and the UK on Cooperation in AI R&D September 2020

A shared vision for driving technological breakthrough in AI

A new agreement seems to have been penned this month between the United States and the United Kingdom. It is building on the US-UK Science and Technology Agreement signed in September 2017.

Screenshot www.gov.uk taken on the 28th of September 2020

A deceleration was signed in London and Washington on the 25th of September 2020.

The Hon Michael J.K. Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States and the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as well as the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The new agreement outlines a cooperation on research and development of artificial intelligence.

In May 2020, the U.S. and other allies launched the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, for ‘like-minded nations together to encourage the development of AI in line with our shared values.’

According to Axios the Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer. “We are proud to join our special partner and ally, the United Kingdom, to advance AI innovation for the well-being of our citizens, in line with shared democratic values.”

Will this be a shared vision for driving technological breakthrough in AI?

In the statement on gov.uk it is stressed that:

  1. Economic growth.
  2. Health and wellbeing.
  3. The protection of democratic values.
  4. National security.

They mention working to enable innovation in the technology ecosystem and establishing shared best practice on public datasets.

They frame this as:

“Recognizing the value of shared best practice on public data sets to unlock AI innovation and exchanges of information on regulatory frameworks to remove barriers to innovation whilst commanding public confidence…”

Removing barriers it seems is an often repeated statement in relation to working with data. Establishing research foundations, early stage development and the importance of trust. They want a capable workforce and to improve quality of life.

In doing so they recognise public-private-partnerships as bringing value to and enriching the: “…AI R&D enterprise, enhance technology commercialisation, and create value for our citizens…”

They intend to advance their shared vision and work towards an AI R&D ecosystem that embodies this approach by the following points listed in the official declaration statement [bold added]:

  • “Taking stock of and utilizing existing bilateral science and technology cooperation (e.g., the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. National Science Foundation and UK Research and Innovation on Research Cooperation) and multilateral cooperation frameworks;
  • Recommending priorities for future cooperation, particularly in R&D areas where each partner shares strong common interest (e.g., interdisciplinary research and intelligent systems) and brings complementary challenges, regulatory or cultural considerations, or expertise to the partnerships;
  • Coordinating as appropriate the planning and programming of relevant activities in these areas, including promoting researcher and student collaboration that could potentially involve national partners, the private sector, academia, and the scientific community to further our efforts by harnessing the value of public-private partnerships; and
  • Promoting research and development in AI, focusing on challenging technical issues, and protecting against efforts to adopt and apply these technologies in the service of authoritarianism and repression.”

They intend to establish a bilateral Government-to-Government dialogue on the areas identified in this vision.

Read more on the official announcement:

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AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau