AI Titans Grow Impatient with UK Safety Assessments


  • The UK government faces pressure from major AI companies to accelerate safety testing procedures for their systems.
  • Concerns were raised about the pace and transparency of evaluation processes by OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Microsoft, and Meta.
  • Despite cooperation, companies retain autonomy over decision-making based on evaluation outcomes.
  • Requests for more detailed testing information and clarity on submission requirements highlight industry apprehensions.
  • Lack of clarity in evaluation processes raises uncertainties, especially as other governments contemplate similar AI safety assessments.
  • Global initiatives, such as the Bletchley Declaration, underscore the need for collective management of AI risks.
  • The US, Australia, and EU have initiated various AI oversight measures, with the UK’s ambition to lead in AI safety efforts.
  • Implications on market dynamics emphasize the growing importance of transparent and standardized AI safety protocols.

Main AI News:

Persistent concerns linger over the UK government’s appraisal of models voluntarily submitted for examination by Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, and Meta.

Key players in the AI industry have urged the UK government to expedite its safety assessments for their systems, prompting speculation about forthcoming government endeavors that may depend on technology providers subjecting generative AI models to testing before new releases are unveiled to the public.

OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Microsoft, and Meta are among the firms that have consented to let the UK’s new AI Safety Institute (AISI) scrutinize their models. However, they express dissatisfaction with the current pace and transparency of the evaluation, according to a report published in the Financial Times, drawing on sources close to the companies.

Despite their readiness to rectify any flaws detected in their technology by the AISI, the companies are not obliged to modify or delay the release of their technology based on the test results, the sources revealed.

The companies’ resistance to the AISI evaluation encompasses a desire for more comprehensive information on the tests being conducted, their duration, and the feedback mechanism, as per the report. It also raises questions about whether testing will be required every time there is even a minor update to the model, a prospect that AI developers may consider overly burdensome.

Opacities in Process, Opacities in Results

The reservations of AI vendors seem justified given the vague details surrounding the workings of the evaluation process. As other governments contemplate similar AI safety assessments, any existing ambiguity with the UK process will likely compound as additional government entities make similar, albeit presently voluntary, demands on AI developers.

The UK government has indicated that testing of AI models is already underway through collaboration with the respective developers, according to the Financial Times. The evaluation is centered on accessing capable AI models for pre-deployment testing, even unreleased models like Google’s Gemini Ultra, which was a pivotal agreement signed by companies at the UK’s AI Safety Summit in November, the report noted.

Sources cited by the Financial Times revealed that testing has concentrated on the risks associated with AI misuse, encompassing cybersecurity and jailbreaking, along with the development of prompts to manipulate AI chatbots into circumventing their safeguards. The testing criteria may also include reverse-engineering automation, based on recently disclosed UK government contracts.

Efforts by the AI companies and the AISI to comment on the matter were unsuccessful as of Wednesday.

Global Governments on AI Oversight Radar

The outcome of the November summit mentioned earlier resulted in the Bletchley Declaration on AI Safety, with 28 countries worldwide pledging to comprehend and collectively manage potential AI risks by ensuring its development adheres to safety protocols.

Several governments worldwide have initiated specific programs and agencies to oversee AI development amid mounting concerns regarding its pace and the prospect of leaving it solely in the hands of tech corporations, potentially more driven by profit and innovation than global safety.

In the United States, there is the US Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute, which aims to facilitate the establishment of new measurement science to identify techniques and metrics promoting the development and responsible use of safe and trustworthy AI. With the testing framework yet to be developed, the institute is currently seeking collaborators for its mission.

Australia also intends to establish an expert advisory group soon to evaluate and devise options for mandatory guardrails on AI research and development. Additionally, it is collaborating with the industry to formulate a voluntary AI Safety Standard and options for the voluntary labeling and watermarking of AI-generated materials to enhance transparency.

Ahead of initiatives in the US and Australia, the EU has emerged as the first region to introduce a comprehensive set of laws ensuring that AI serves the economic and social interests of its citizens.

Moreover, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is spearheading efforts to position his country as a frontrunner in confronting the existential risks posed by the rapid proliferation of AI, as reported by the Financial Times. This endeavor is likely to shape the current AI model testing in the country, although its impact on future development remains to be seen.


The growing impatience of AI giants with UK safety tests underscores the urgent need for transparent and standardized evaluation processes in the AI industry. This call for clarity and speed in assessments signals a pivotal moment for market dynamics, emphasizing the significance of regulatory frameworks and collaborative efforts in ensuring the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies.