Sunak gets a boost as British AI chief praises Britain

In a major boost for Rishi Sunak, US data giant Palantir said that Britain was a better place than the EU to develop artificial intelligent (AI), thanks to “pragmatic privacy laws”.

Alex Karp, the chief executive of the company, said that the draconian data privacy regime in Brussels would allow “you to do things here in the UK which you cannot do on the continent”.

Mr Karp made his comments as Prime Minister Joe Biden was set to meet with President Joe Biden in order to promote Britain as a potential home for a new global AI regulator.

Mr Sunak wants to make the country a leader in this nascent field. Mr Karp said to the BBC that “the UK is in a position to become a leader not only in Europe but perhaps even globally”.

Palantir’s chief executive stated: “There is a general understanding of data in the UK, and that it is important to understand data in order to do important things for the government or private sector.”

Palantir’s technology was used to manage vaccine distribution in the NHS and by Western military and intelligence agencies .

Chatbots with “large-language models” (LLMs) have been deployed by the company. These are similar to ChatGPT or Google Bard and allow customers to query large amounts of data quickly. LLMs may not be compatible with Europe’s GDPR data laws.

It was briefly banned by the Italian data regulator earlier this year for privacy reasons. Sam Altman is the CEO of OpenAI, which makes ChatGPT. He said that it could be forced to close in Europe. However, he has since retracted his comments.

The UK, which has adopted the GDPR as part of its post-Brexit strategy, has proposed to relax some of the regulations. Meanwhile the Information Commissioner’s Office said that it would enforce the laws using common sense.

Mr Karp stated: “The UK has a pragmatic approach to data protection, unlike many other places around the world.” The continent of Europe will have a much more difficult time accepting LLMs. In the UK, privacy is based on fairness and understanding rather than GDPR data protection.

If you are a pharmaceutical company, and you wish to conduct research on a drug you will be able do things in the UK which you cannot do on the continent. You have a pragmatic approach to technology.”

Mr Karp dismissed requests from Elon Musk, and others, for a break in AI development. He said many “asked for a break because they had no product”.

Palantir’s praise comes amid London fears that the US and EU could strike a deal on AI regulation over Britain’s heads, making the UK a rule taker rather than a rule maker.

Downing Street is looking to create a forum for countries like Japan and South Korea to help shape AI norms. A government spokesman stated: “AI can transform our lives in a positive way.” We must ensure that it is developed in a safe and secure manner.

In May, the Prime Minister held a meeting with the heads of the leading AI companies such as OpenAI and Google Deepmind. He also urged the leaders to consider the risks associated with the technology.

After announcing the UK’s hosting of a global summit in September on the safety of artificial intelligence, the Prime Minister will meet with the President.