Labour’s Peter Kyle set for AI talks with tech giants during Washington visit

3 February 2024, 22:34

Peter Kyle
Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. Picture: PA

The shadow technology secretary wants to discuss how the emerging technology could improve public services.

Labour’s shadow technology secretary is planning a flurry of meetings with tech giants to discuss artificial intelligence developments during a visit to the United States.

Peter Kyle arrived in Washington DC on Saturday in preparation for a week of discussions with the US government and tech firms, including Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google and Apple.

He will also meet others involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI), such as Oracle, Open AI and Anthropic.

Party officials said the Opposition frontbencher will use the talks with leading AI labs to discuss the potential for the emerging technology to improve public services, with plans to use it to speed up cancer scans and create personalised lesson plans for children.

Mr Kyle, whose brief also includes science, said he has already seen AI tools that he believes could have detected his mother’s lung cancer “earlier”, making its potential advancements in healthcare “personal”.

The MP for Hove, in an article for The Daily Telegraph in November, said his mother died 12 years ago, with her illness going undiagnosed for 18 months despite presenting to doctors with pain “numerous times”.

Speaking after arriving in the US, Mr Kyle said: “New technology is the greatest opportunity we have to restore our public services and grow the economy.

“I have seen AI tools which I believe would have caught my mum’s cancer earlier.

“It is personal for me to get this technology used in a way which keeps families together for longer.

“UK businesses can benefit hugely from the innovation this latest wave of technology can bring.

“A Labour government wants to unleash innovation and give companies the certainty needed to invest in our country, boosting wages and getting the economy growing again.”

Labour, which is well in front of the Conservatives in opinion polls ahead of a likely general election later this year, has said it will introduce a Regulatory Innovation Office to speed up existing AI regulations and make safety reporting requirements mandatory for labs at the heart of innovation with the technology.

In November, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak chaired the first global AI summit at Bletchley Park as world governments look at regulating the technology, which experts have warned could pose a danger to humanity if not effectively controlled.

Andrew Griffith, the Conservative minister for science, said: “Despite attempts to mask their anti-business record and ideas, the reality is Labour can’t say how they would support businesses to use AI safely whilst utilising it to grow and thrive, because they do not have a plan.”

By Press Association

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