Rishi Sunak will this week meet the boss of Google for further talks about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) amid a raging debate about the threats posed by the technology.
Sky News has learnt that the prime minister and Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, will hold a private meeting on Friday.
A Downing Street source said the meeting would be focused on AI-related challenges, although it was also expected to address other issues including the UK as an investment environment for major tech companies.
Mr Sunak has already held talks this week with tech bosses including the CEOs of OpenAI, Google DeepMind, and Anthropic.
A joint statement issued after Wednesday’s meeting said: “The PM made clear that AI is the defining technology of our time, with the potential to positively transform humanity.
“But the success of this technology is founded on having the right guardrails in place, so that the public can have confidence that AI is used in a safe and responsible way.
“The PM set out how the approach to AI regulation will need to keep pace with the fast-moving advances in this technology.”
The explosive growth of AI and its multiple applications has sparked fears about its use in the spread of misinformation and the risks it could pose to national security.
In an article published in the Financial Times this week, Mr Pichai said AI was “the most profound technology humanity is working on today”.
He referred to AI’s use in laboratories cataloguing proteins “opening up new healthcare possibilities” and its ability to help “thousands of Ukrainian refugees… communicate in their new homes”.
“I still believe AI is too important not to regulate, and too important not to regulate well,” he wrote.
Calling for increased international cooperation on the issue, Mr Pichai said: “AI presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the world to reach its climate goals, build sustainable growth, maintain global competitiveness and much more. Yet we are still in the early days, and there’s a lot of work ahead.
“We look forward to doing that work with others, and together building AI safely and responsibly so that everyone can benefit.”
Google employs about 7,000 people in the UK.
Neither Google nor Downing Street would confirm that Friday’s meeting would take place.