UK Prime Minister opens London Tech Week – urging tech leaders to grasp opportunities of AI

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosts Great British Entrepreneur Awards Reception at No.10 Downing Street


The UK must act quickly if they want to retain the position as one of the world’s tech capitals, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told tech leaders today.

The UK must act quickly if they want to retain the position as one of the world’s tech capitals, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told tech leaders today.

Speaking at the launch of the tenth London Tech Week, the Prime Minister argued that as the “tectonic plates of technology are shifting”, the UK must harness innovation to become the best place for tech businesses to invest and grow, in turn growing the economy and creating jobs.

The Prime Minister outlined how Government will work with businesses to capitalise on the opportunities presented by transformative technologies, such as AI.

From building one of the most pro-investment tax regimes, to committing almost a fifth of our entire capital budget to R&D – the highest level the UK has ever seen – and investing record sums in building our quantum capability, the Prime Minister underlined his commitment to creating the right conditions for innovators to thrive.

Speaking at London Tech Week, the Prime Minister said, “We must act – and act quickly – if we want not only to retain our position as one of the world’s tech capitals…”

“…but to go even further, and make this the best country in the world to start, grow and invest in tech businesses.”

“That is my goal. And I feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to make sure we seize it.”

Together with Ministers from across Government, responsible for nurturing and attracting talent, driving world-class research and unlocking investment, he will set out their shared mission to help the UK’s tech eco-system flourish at the launch of London Tech Week.

Part of this effort is represented by Government’s decision to introduce High Potential Individual, Global Talent and Scale-up Worker visas. These routes are designed to attract the best and brightest global talent and will encourage academics and professionals to share their knowledge, skills and ideas in the UK, and make a positive contribution to the economy.

Following his announcement that the UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety later this year, the Prime Minister also stressed the UK’s leadership as a democratic AI power – already home to top AI labs, including DeepMind.

This has been recognised globally by like-minded countries and partners, who have agreed to work together to mitigate the risks through internationally coordinated action. The UK’s expert taskforce on AI foundation models, backed by £100 million in Government funding, will lead on cutting-edge AI safety in the UK.

During his speech, the Prime Minister outlined the opportunities AI presents as well as the need to ensure its development remains safe and responsible. That includes bringing together academia, leading tech companies and Government to deliver the benefits that will improve people’s lives.

The Prime Minister said, “Already we’ve seen AI help the paralysed to walk; and discover superbug-killing antibiotics – and that’s just the beginning.”

“…The possibilities are extraordinary. But we must – and we will – do it safely.”

“…I want to make the UK not just the intellectual home, but the geographical home of global AI safety regulation.”

The Prime Minister will continue to host key tech businesses and entrepreneurs at Downing Street throughout London Tech Week, while Government Ministers will promote and discuss how they are supporting the UK’s tech sector with stakeholders at events including panel sessions and speeches.


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