Monday, February 26, 2024

UK diplomats plant a flag in San Francisco

“When you affect the state of California, that has vital heft on the federal stage, too,” British Consul Common Tammy Sandhu advised Playbook throughout an interview on a fall night at her workplace in a excessive rise off San Francisco’s Market Avenue. “What we acknowledge is that you could really obtain rather a lot — generally extra — on the state stage.”

Moments later, Sandhu walked briskly down the corridor to host a reception for
Matt Clifford

, a high synthetic intelligence adviser to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The occasion drew native tech executives and elected officers, together with San Francisco Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Ahsha Safaí and advisers to state Sen. Scott Wiener. Clifford, who was on the town to tour Synthetic Intelligence labs, mingled with the group as they sipped California wines and snacked on appetizers in a convention room adorned with British flags.

Clifford, coincidentally, flew into city on the identical day that Gov. Gavin Newsom
signed an govt order

outlining California’s strategy to shaping the protected improvement of AI. He’s considered one of a number of U.Ok. cabinet-level officers who’ve visited San Francisco in latest months, together with Commerce Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Secretary of State for Protection Grant Shapps.

What they’re watching: The UK has beefed up its presence in lots of elements of the world since leaving the European Union, because the nation is now not represented by EU diplomats. In California, it’s trying to construct relationships with state leaders and assist form laws in areas like synthetic intelligence, information privateness and electrical automobiles.

Clifford, a tech govt, has pressured the necessity to develop security guidelines for AI that don’t stifle innovation. Staffers from the consulate have not too long ago met with Wiener’s workplace to debate a invoice he’s carrying to curb security dangers in AI improvement.

However the function of a overseas diplomat is mostly not like that of others on the state Capitol. British envoys don’t usually help or oppose laws and as an alternative concentrate on sharing technical experience that might make it simpler for firms to adjust to the foundations in each nations, mentioned Christopher Cambises, the U.Ok. consul’s head of political affairs in Sacramento. They’re intermediaries making an attempt to make sure that the foundations play effectively with industries on either side of the Atlantic.

Shared sensibilities: Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a former U.S. ambassador to Hungary, famous the EU, Singapore, Eire and Italy are additionally sending extra diplomats to California, which has been very happy to obtain them.

4 days after she and Newsom have been sworn into workplace in 2019, Kounalakis mentioned, the governor referred to as and requested her to guide an effort to develop California’s worldwide outreach. Many countries have been receptive, she mentioned, perceiving California as a secure associate amid dysfunction in Washington, and higher aligned on points like local weather change and girls’s rights.

“Our overseas companions are deeply involved
about Trumpism

, and it’s clear California is nowhere close to taking place that path,” Kounalakis mentioned.

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