Rishi Sunak standing delivering a speech at the Downing Street press room.
Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Rishi Sunak warns of ‘new dangers and new fears’ to come with AI — PM’s speech as it happened

The prime minister has warned of the “new dangers and new fears” that will come with the development of Artificial Intelligence technology.

It comes as the PM attempts to set the stage for the UK to host an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park next week.

“The right speech for me to make is to address those fears head on”, he said.

New analysis from the government says that AI has the potential to “enhance” terrorist capabilities, including in propaganda, weapons development and the planning of attacks.

It comes as deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden told Times Radio this morning: “I do and we have seen in successive elections technology imposing an effect on our elections.”

He added: “I also take it seriously in respect of our elections. The thing about AI is actually twofold. One, it can proliferate the range of actors that can participate in this space, so more people can create those kind of deep fakes, and as you say, it can also make them more convincing.”


10.14 am — Rishi Sunak is asked whether the government will regulate AI, including as part of the King’s Speech on 7 November.

He responds: “I think we shouldn’t be in a rush to regulate for a number of reasons.”

He adds the approach is to invest heavily and “more so than anyone else”.

10.00 am — Rishi Sunak is asked whether it would be sensible to slow down development of AI so experts can better understand the risks.

He responds that the government has published a report today “to give people honesty and transparency about the risks that we see”.

He adds: “One of those is potentially increased risks to safety and security because what AI does is enhance the ability of bad actors to do things”.

Addressing the new AI safety Taskforce, he says: “I can give everyone the reassurance that we are ahead of the curve on this.”

9.51 am — Rishi Sunak is asked how the government will support people who have their jobs impacted by AI.

Rishi Sunak says that people should think of AI as more of a “co-pilot”. He mentions an example of a care worker who can use the technology to help with paperwork.

9.45 am — Rishi Sunak closes: “When I think about why I came into politics, frankly, why almost anyone comes into politics, it’s because we want to make life better for people, to give our children and our grandchildren a better future. And we strive hour after hour policy after policy, just trying to make the difference.

He adds: “If harnessed in the right way, the power of possibility of this technology could dwarf anything any of us have achieved in a generation. And that’s why I make no apology for being pro technology.

“It’s why I want to seize every opportunity for our country to benefit in the way that I’m so convinced that it can. And it’s why I believe we can and should look to the future with optimism and hope”.

9.44 am — The prime minister confirms investment in a super computer “thousands of times faster than the one you have at home”.

9.43 am — Rishi Sunak says “AI can also help us solve some of the greatest social challenges of our time. It can help us finally achieve the promise of nuclear fusion, providing abundant, cheap, clean energy with virtually no emissions”.

9.42 am — Rishi Sunak says “only governments can properly assess the risks to public security”.

The UK is building “world leading capability” to assess the safety of AI models in government, he adds.

9.40 am — Rishi Sunak says he “won’t hide” the risks of AI as he points to an assessment published that provides a stark warning.

He says: “Get this wrong, and AI could make it easier to build chemical or biological weapons, terrorist groups could use AI to spread fear and destruction on an even greater scale”

9.35 am — Rishi Sunak begins by detailing a visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital, which is using artificial intelligence to diagnose a range of conditions.

He says he believes technology like AI will bring “a transformation as far reaching as the industrial revolution”.

He adds that despite positive innovation, there are also “new dangers and new fears” that come with the introduction of AI.

“The right speech for me to make is to address those fears head on”, he explains.