So Rishi and his lovely wife Murty were in the mood to watch a movie together on the eve of his Bletchley Park adventure.
Rishi voted for the thirty year old classic Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger, his all-time favourite film. Murty wanted to watch Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning. Rishi , ever the gentleman, naturally acceded to his wife’s wishes. After all, he had no counter to Tom Cruise at 61 having more allure than Harrison Ford at 51.
So they sat together in The Blue Room at 10 Downing Street and enjoyed Tom Cruise running, jumping and unmasking his way through the film. No, that’s not quite accurate. Murty sat through it happily, taken on a typically breathless mission impossible ride from the North Pole to Washington to Abu Dhabi to Venice to Austria (bit exhausted just typing that travelogue!). But meanwhile, Rishi was taking notes furiously throughout, trying to keep pace with the terrifying machinations of the film’s villain; AI. Notes that he constantly referred to, apparently, throughout the two-day summit.
He might have been wiser to not be such be a gentleman and insist on watching Clear and Present Danger. Because that’s the theme that should have been uppermost in his mind.
Try as I might, I can’t imagine another reason why the Prime Minister appeared to make the summit’s entire focus around the hypothetical future threats posed by AI rather than the more immediate problem of job losses. Unless he imagined he was in the House of Lords, untroubled by the problems of the great unwashed.
The government made a big statement by hosting the event at the iconic home of the world’s first computer. Why then keep the spotlight away from the real issue of job losses? Now that would have been a very House of Commons statement. A real vote-recapturing coup for the Conservative party. Unemployment. That’s the real clear and present danger to the British societal infrastructure. Not to mention every other community infrastructure on the planet. Unemployment, and thence the creation of new jobs and/or a society able to support a largely jobless population.
Bletchley Park achieved nothing, despite protestations to the contrary.
There’s no concrete go-forward plan and everything discussed has been debated well before this summit.
Your mission, Rishi, which you chose not to accept, was to get the world to roll up its shirt sleeves and protect people from the dark potential of AI. Not attempt to look like a global thought leader whose political party hasn’t taken the Great out of Great Britain.
Getting the Conservative Party re-elected? Mission Impossible.
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