GOV UK. Press release. 

AI Safety Institute releases new AI safety evaluations platform.

The AI Safety Institute has open released a new testing platform to strengthen AI safety evaluations.

From: Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, AI Safety Institute and The Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP

Published10 May 2024

  • New UK-built AI safety testing platform to strengthen and accelerate global safety evaluations.
  • Inspect will make it easier for a wide range of groups to develop AIevaluations, boosting collaboration with researchers and developers.
  • AI Safety Institute, Incubator for AI (i.AI) and Number 10 to bring together leading AI talent to rapidly test and develop new open-source AI safety tools.

Global AI safety evaluations are set to be enhanced as the UK AI Safety Institute’s evaluations platform is made available to the global AI community today (Friday 10 May), paving the way for safe innovation of AI models.

After establishing the world’s first state-backed AI Safety Institute, the UK is continuing the drive towards greater global collaboration on AI safety evaluations with the release of the AI Safety Institute’s homegrown Inspect evaluations platform. By making Inspect available to the global community, the Institute is helping accelerate the work on AI safety evaluations being carried out across the globe, leading to better safety testing and the development of more secure models. This will allow for a consistent approach to AI safety evaluations around the world.

Inspect is a software library which enables testers – from start ups, academia and AI developers to international governments – to assess specific capabilities of individual models and then produce a score based on their results. Inspect can be used to evaluate models in a range of areas, including their core knowledge, ability to reason, and autonomous capabilities. Released through an open source licence, it means Inspect it is now freely available for the AI community to use.

The platform is available from today – the first time that an AI safety testing platform which has been spearheaded by a state-backed body has been released for wider use.

Sparked by some of the UK’s leading AI minds, its release comes at a crucial time in AI development, as more powerful models are expected to hit the market over the course of 2024, making the push for safe and responsible AIdevelopment more pressing than ever.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan said:

As part of the constant drumbeat of UK leadership on AI safety, I have cleared the AI Safety Institute’s testing platform – called Inspect – to be open sourced. This puts UK ingenuity at the heart of the global effort to make AI safe, and cements our position as the world leader in this space.

The reason I am so passionate about this, and why I have open sourced Inspect, is because of the extraordinary rewards we can reap if we grip the risks of AI. From our NHS to our transport network, safe AI will improve lives tangibly – which is what I came into politics for in the first place.

AI Safety Institute Chair Ian Hogarth said:

As Chair of the AI Safety Institute, I am proud that we are open sourcing our Inspect platform.

Successful collaboration on AI safety testing means having a shared, accessible approach to evaluations, and we hope Inspect can be a building block for AI Safety Institutes, research organisations, and academia.

We have been inspired by some of the leading open source AI developers – most notably projects like GPT-NeoX, OLMo or Pythia which all have publicly available training data and OSI-licensed training and evaluation code, model weights, and partially trained checkpoints. This is our effort to contribute back.

We hope to see the global AI community using Inspect to not only carry out their own model safety tests, but to help adapt and build upon the open source platform so we can produce high-quality evaluations across the board.

Alongside the launch of Inspect, the AI Safety Institute, Incubator for AI (i.AI) and Number 10 will bring together leading AI talent from a range of areas to rapidly test and develop new open-source AI safety tools. Open source tools are easier for developers to integrate them into their models, giving them a better understanding of how they work and how they can be made as safe as possible. Further details will be announced in due course.