Tech entrepreneur Ian Hogarth to lead UK’s AI Foundation Model Taskforce

Tech entrepreneur Ian Hogarth to lead UK’s AI Foundation Model Taskforce

The renowned tech investor, entrepreneur and AI specialist Ian Hogarth has been announced as the chair of the Government’s Foundation Model Taskforce, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Technology Secretary.

A leading authority on AI, Ian has co-authored the annual State of AI report since 2018 on the progress of AI. Ian is also a visiting professor at University College London and he has a strong background in tech entrepreneurship as the founder of the start-up Songkick and the venture capital fund Plural.

The appointment brings a wealth of experience to developing this technology responsibly, which underpins the government’s AI strategy and follows the launch of the AI White Paper. Ian’s strong commercial experience and connections across the AI sector equip him with valuable insights that he will bring to this role.

Under Ian’s leadership, a key focus for the Taskforce in the coming months will be taking forward cutting-edge safety research in the run up to the first global summit on AI safety to be hosted in the UK later this year.

Bringing together expertise from government, industry and academia, the Taskforce will look at the risks surrounding AI. It will carry out research on AI safety and inform broader work on the development of international guardrails, such as shared safety and security standards and infrastructure, that could be put in place to address the risks.

The Taskforce will be modelled on the successes of the Vaccine Taskforce, operating with the same agility and delegated authority so the Chair and Taskforce are empowered to take forward work and make decisions at pace.

Ian Hogarth, Chair of the Foundation Model Taskforce, said:

UK scientists and entrepreneurs have made many important contributions to the field of AI, from Alan Turing through to AlphaFold. The Prime Minister has laid out a bold vision for the UK to supercharge the field of AI safety, one that until now has been under-resourced even as AI capabilities have accelerated. I’m honoured to have the chance to chair such an important mission in the lead up to the first global summit on AI Safety in the UK.

The expert Taskforce will help build UK capabilities in foundation models and leverage our existing strengths, including UK leadership in AI safety, research and development, to identify and tackle the unique safety challenges presented by this type of AI.

The work of the Taskforce will be vital in seizing the opportunities of AI and building public confidence in its use, complementing work already taking place in AI companies themselves, who are looking at their own measures to ensure development of AI is safe and responsible. They have also committed to give the Taskforce early or priority access to models for research and safety purposes to help build better evaluations and help us better understand the opportunities and risks of these systems.

The global AI safety summit later this year will be an opportunity for leading nations, industry and academia to come together and explore an assessment of the risks, to scope collective research possibilities and to work towards shared safety and security standards and infrastructure.


On Top