The United Kingdom is making a strategic move to woo the tech giants of Silicon Valley, and it has sent Joe White UK ambassador to Silicon Valley for this mission.
- The U.K. aims to establish itself as a tech powerhouse separate from the European Union (EU) and is seeking good relations with Silicon Valley.
- The U.K. is presenting a lenient approach, compared to the EU, to regulating AI, which attracts top tech talent and investment.
In an effort to attract Big Tech’s business, the U.K. has sent Joe White across the pond as the UK ambassador to Silicon Valley. This move comes at a time when the U.K. is seeking to cement itself as a powerhouse in the tech world, away from the European Union. A powerhouse befitting for top tech talent to endeavor into the new age of AI.
Traditionally, diplomacy is a conversation between nations about nations. But with the pace at which technology is moving, corporations were granted, or rather took, a seat at the table. As such, seeking good relations with the world’s technological ground zero stands to benefit the Crown.
Besides, Joe White is not just any representative. Far from that. He was cut out of the same cloth as Silicon Valley. Through years as a tech executive and venture capitalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, no doubt. And his spouse’s position as an executive at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, gave him a unique perspective on the tech scene.
Behind the gentle disposition and hors d’oeuvres, lies a message. “Silicon Valley, Britain is much more accepting of your flaws than the European Union.” This may seem as out-of-the-blue. But ever since the U.K. left the EU, it sought to position itself as far away as possible from the Union. And now that the EU is cracking down on AI regulations, the U.K. has a golden opportunity. The U.K. is standing right there with the salve in hand. Such a “lenient” approach to regulating AI lures top tech talent and tons of investment to the U.K.
In fact, Paul Scully, the U.K.’s minister for tech and the digital economy, made his position clear regarding the EU’s tech regulations, saying “The EU tends to be really quite more prescriptive than we are on these areas.”
And White seems to share the same sentiment. He told POLITICO “We’ve got to step forward in a way which actually leads to the positive outcomes, allows the innovation to take place, and doesn’t restrict it.”
As a result, White’s job is central to his government’s plans for the future. If the U.K Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to the White House is any indication, England WILL be the leader in this new AI-centric world.
Joe White, who was sent as the UK ambassador to Silicon Valley, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire back in 2017 for his services to technology businesses. So, it comes as no surprise that he’s the Crown’s ace in beating the EU to the punch. It has been almost a decade of Europe’s aggressive regulators setting the pace. And now London believes there’s an appetite in Silicon Valley for a different, perhaps gentler, approach. After Brexit, the U.K. is moving further away from the EU as it finds new partners. This time, it’s the U.S.’s Silicon Valley.
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