06 Feb 2024
by Tess Buckley

Third Progress Report Towards Ambitions of the AI Safety Institute

The government's emphasis on evaluating AI systems' technical capabilities is evident from the publication of previously classified information and the commitment to expanding the technical research team. The AISI is conducting pre-deployment testing for potential risks in advanced AI systems, collaborating with various organisations to develop an evaluation suite focusing on misuse, societal impacts, and safeguards. Talent acquisition and retention are highlighted as crucial for AISI's reputation and progress, with notable hires like Geoffrey Irving and Chris Summerfield and the notable loss of Rumman Chowdhury. The AISI is facilitating information exchange through publications like the International Scientific Report on Advanced AI Safety and engagement with international partners like South Korea.  

The AISI has set three priority areas to achieve its ambitions, including evaluations of advanced AI models, conducting foundational AI Safety research and facilitating information exchange. These are the key commitments from the third progress report:  


1) Develop and conduct evaluations of advanced AI models  

  • Started pre-deployment testing 

  • The AISI has begun pre-deployment testing of advanced AI systems for companies such as Anthropic and Google DeepMind, who agreed to government testing at the AI Summit.  

  • Partnered with over 20 organisations 

  • The AISI has now partnered with over 20 organisations including Fuzzy Labs, Pattern Labs and FutureHouse to build the evaluations suite. The current focus of testing has been decided which includes misuse, societal impacts, autonomous systems and safeguards.  

  • Misuse – focus on chemical and biological capabilities and cyber offense capabilities.  

  • Onboarding of 23 technical researchers  

  • A key government priority has been to show that they have the technical capability to evaluate systems, which began with the publication of previously classified information in the discussion paper on risk from AI systems. This has since been followed with the promise to keep up to date with the newest AI models by onboarding 23 technical researchers with a commitment to grow to 50-60 by the end of 2024. 


2) Foundational AI Safety research  

  • Talent acquisition and attraction 

  • The focus of this progress report highlights the importance of talent density, echoing the sentiment of "build it and they shall come." It's crucial to both attract and retain the right researchers, as this will bolster AISI's reputation and solidify its position as an organisation that is equipped to make meaningful contributions to AI safety.  

  • Hogath’s leading announcements included the acquisition of Geoffrey Irving and Chris Summerfield’s wealth of knowledge. Irving, joining AISI from the Scalable Alignment Team at Google DeepMind as Research Director. Chris Summerfield, Oxford University’s Cognitive Neuroscience Professor, is also joining as Research Director to lead on the societal impacts work.  


3) Facilitating information exchange 

  • The International Scientific Report on Advanced AI Safety 

  • Published the principles behind the Report, a landmark paper sharing the latest research and opinions from the world’s leading AI experts chaired by Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio 

  • The first meeting of the External Advisory Panel (30 countries plus the EU and UN) held their first meeting last week  

  • Preparing for South Korea 

  • The AISI team members have already been to Seoul twice to discuss the upcoming Summit and begin preparations 


You can read more about the first and second progress reports and the ambitions of the institute

If you would like to learn more, please email [email protected].


Tess Buckley

Tess Buckley

Programme Manager - Digital Ethics and AI Safety, techUK


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Tess Buckley

Tess Buckley

Programme Manager, Digital Ethics and AI Safety, techUK

Tess is the Programme Manager for Digital Ethics and AI Safety at techUK.  

Prior to techUK Tess worked as an AI Ethics Analyst, which revolved around the first dataset on Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), and then later the development of a large language model focused on answering ESG questions for Chief Sustainability Officers. Alongside other responsibilities, she distributed the dataset on CDR to investors who wanted to further understand the digital risks of their portfolio, she drew narratives and patterns from the data, and collaborate with leading institutes to support academics in AI ethics. She has authored articles for outlets such as ESG Investor, Montreal AI Ethics Institute, The FinTech Times, and Finance Digest. Covered topics like CDR, AI ethics, and tech governance, leveraging company insights to contribute valuable industry perspectives. Tess is Vice Chair of the YNG Technology Group at YPO, an AI Literacy Advisor at Humans for AI, a Trustworthy AI Researcher at Z-Inspection Trustworthy AI Labs and an Ambassador for AboutFace. 

Tess holds a MA in Philosophy and AI from Northeastern University London, where she specialised in biotechnologies and ableism, following a BA from McGill University where she joint-majored in International Development and Philosophy, minoring in communications. Tess’s primary research interests include AI literacy, AI music systems, the impact of AI on disability rights and the portrayal of AI in media (narratives). In particular, Tess seeks to operationalise AI ethics and use philosophical principles to make emerging technologies explainable, and ethical. 

Outside of work Tess enjoys kickboxing, ballet, crochet and jazz music.

[email protected]

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