In the light of the threats AI has been posing to human jobs of late, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has admonished that people should not be worried about the impact of AI on jobs because education reforms will boost skills.
Speaking after the UK’s first AI safety summit, the prime minister said the technology would improve the economy in the long term. He added that new tools should be seen as a “co-pilot” to help people at work, rather than replacing them.
“The government’s job should be to improve training,” he told reporters. Mr. Sunak said he recognised there was “anxiety” about the impact new AI tools could have on the workplace, but said it would enhance productivity over time.
“We should look at AI much more as a co-pilot than something which is necessarily going to replace someone’s job. AI is a tool that can help almost anybody do their jobs better, faster, quicker. My job, the government’s job, is to make sure we have a world-class education system,” he added. “That is my answer in a nutshell; that’s why I don’t want people to be worried, because we are building a world-class education system.”
Mr. Sunak cited his recently-announced plan to introduce a new qualification for all school leavers in England, including some English and Mathematics to 18. He also suggested efforts to improve technical training, and plans to boost adult education, would ensure that the UK could “reap the benefits of AI economically.”
His comments came at a press conference following a two-day summit on artificial intelligence safety attended by 28 countries, including the US and China, alongside tech bosses and academics. Trade unions, which have complained about not being represented at the event, have called for stronger measures to ensure jobs are protected as AI technology evolves.