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Leading AI figures awarded honours

Leading figures from the world of artificial intelligence have been awarded honours on the recommendation of Rishi Sunak.

Dr Demis Hassabis, co-founder of Google-owned AI firm DeepMind, has been knighted.

He was previously a member of the AI Council, an industry body appointed by the Government to promote adoption of the technology.

AI safety summit
Ian Hogarth, left, and Demis Hassabis during the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes last year (Toby Melville/PA)

DeepMind created the revolutionary AlphaFold program that depicts protein structures and could allow for the development of new medicines.

Last year, Dr Hassabis was among the industry experts to sign a statement saying that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority”.

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“In the situation where there’s a high degree of uncertainty, but huge potential impact either way, I think the only right way to proceed is with the precautionary principle,” he said.

Matthew Clifford, adviser to the Government on AI, and Ian Hogarth, chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute, have been made CBEs.

Mr Clifford is the co-founder of Entrepreneur First, an international talent investor and start-up accelerator founded in 2011.

He is also chairman of the UK’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency.

The year in AI
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking during the AI Safety Summit (Justin Tallis/PA)

Mr Hogarth co-founded the service Songkick, used by millions of music fans to discover concerts, and has co-authored the annual State of AI Report since 2018.

The Prime Minister recommended the honours to the King.

Mr Sunak has a desire for the UK to be a key player in AI regulation.