UK government embarks on bargain bin hunt for AI policy wonk

Con: You won't get a Menlo Park salary. Pro: You won't have to meet Zuck

UK government is trying to hire a "Deputy Director for AI International," a policy leadership role for someone willing to work for a relative pittance compared to research scientists in the field.

For many of us, the £75,000-a-year ($92,000) role with a gilt-edged civil service pension sounds like a valid career move, but against roles being offered by Meta – $1.175 million to work in the labs at Menlo Park – it pales into insignificance.

Clearly unperturbed by market economics for developers and AI boffins, the British administration is forging ahead.

"AI is bringing about huge changes to society, and it is our job as a team to work out how Government should respond, including at the Prime Minister's forthcoming AI Safety Summit. It's a once-in-a-generation moment, and an incredibly fast-paced and exciting environment," states the job ad.

"The UK is committed to finding solutions on AI together with its international partners, and your role will sit at the heart of the wider AI team. The postholder will play a critical role in maintaining the momentum created by the Summit, continuing to strengthen these pivotal relationships for international collaboration and actively shape the international discussions on AI to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of developments and emerging risks and opportunities."

An AI Safety Summit is being hosted by Britain on November 1-2 and the applications process closes on October 22.

So what does the job involve? Maintaining a leadership role in AI after next month's event; "thought leadership" on the global developments in AI; building a network of relationships and influencing international discussions at the G7, G20, OECD, and UN; and making sure local AI policy aligns with global ambitions.

The ideal candidate will have a track record of influencing senior decision makers (ideally at Secretary of State level or equivalent), have built effective networks to "advance an agenda"; possess strong analytical and prioritization skills; and be able to inspire the leadership of diverse teams.

Desirable attributes include experience of AI or tech policy development, and experience working on national security issues.

For that, the right candidate will get a £75,000 annual salary, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will contribute £20,250 toward being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme.

You will be unlikely, however, to meet Mark Zuckerberg, which is one perk of not working in Menlo Park. ®

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