UK PM in Washington to meet Biden and talk tech, Ukraine

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak flew in to Washington late Tuesday lobbying for Britain to take a lead role in regulating artificial intelligence, after a dire warning of the technology's existential dangers.

Sunak will meet President Joe Biden on Thursday for a White House summit, pledging unstinting support for Ukraine after Russia was accused of blowing up a major dam to thwart an apparent counter-offensive.

Any intentional attack on the Kakhovka dam would represent "the largest attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine since the start of the war, and just would demonstrate the new lows that we would have seen from Russian aggression," Sunak told reporters aboard his plane from London.

But while the United States and Britain are inching closer on giving Ukraine air support, and on a robust approach to China, Sunak faces a harder sell with Biden about the UK's post-Brexit relevance elsewhere.

The need for a coordinated response on AI was underlined by Downing Street task force advisor Matt Clifford, who warned the chances of the fast-learning systems wiping out humanity within two years were "not zero."

Interviewed on TalkTV, he said the world needed "to regulate them on a global scale, because it's not enough I think to regulate them nationally."

Sunak wants a future global AI regulator to be based in London, according to sources, arguing Britain has the requisite expertise and size of tech sector.

But it is pushing uphill as the United States talks directly to the European Union about AI regulation, to build on a pledge by G7 leaders including Sunak in Japan last month.

And Sunak, who meets US business leaders before Thursday's summit, has given up on securing a post-Brexit trade deal with the Biden...

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