Skip to main content

Artificial Intelligence

Volume 737: debated on Thursday 7 September 2023

2. Whether he has held recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on co-operation with international partners on responding to the potential challenges of the use of artificial intelligence. (906244)

The Government know the importance of collaborating internationally on the challenge and opportunities of AI. That is why, in the autumn, the Prime Minister will convene the first major AI summit, which will bring together major international partners and leaders in the technology to discuss the issues that confront society.

It is great to hear that the international community will be coming to Bletchley Park in November to discuss the principles and core values when dealing with AI. Given that AI is moving so quickly, with the likes of ChatGPT already impacting things like the work of school kids, what more can the Government do to make sure each Department is taking full account of the impact of AI?

My hon. Friend asks a pertinent question. The Cabinet Office, which is home to the Government Digital Service and the Central Digital and Data Office, takes a lead role, along with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, in co-ordinating work within Government so that we can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities AI presents and guard ourselves against potential disadvantages.

It is nice to see you in the Chair first thing in the morning, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thank the Minister for his response. Constituents all around this great United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland rely on employment to make ends meet and survive. Has he had discussions with international partners as to how AI will impact on people’s livelihoods and jobs? That is so important.

The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point, as one potential risk of AI is that it displaces employment. However, across Government we are looking at the risks and opportunities. We see a future in which humans working with AI create all sorts of great new opportunities for our economy and for individuals.

It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Madam Deputy Speaker. Let me also say happy birthday to the Minister. He has just told the House that the Cabinet Office is responsible for the Government Digital Service—quite rightly. The Government could be making better use of AI to improve government services. For example, we are losing £8 billion a year to benefit fraud and error. Under this Government, we have lost £60 billion to that since 2010—that is £150 a second. Are they going to use AI to deal with benefit fraud and error, or should we assume that this is another example of how nothing works after 13 years?

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his place and look forward to debating these and other issues with him in future. He will be delighted to hear that over the past three years the Government have saved billions of pounds using the latest technology—

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that they have. I can see he is new to the brief and he has some reading to do. [Interruption.] He has been moved from his previous brief to this one. He may be interested to discover that we regularly convene meetings with groups such as Evidence House and 10DS, which contain some of the finest technical experience in Government, to ensure we are taking advantage of the latest technology to make savings for taxpayers. He talks about money lost, but the money that the Government and the Treasury have saved through implementing the latest techniques is far in excess of the number he gave.