'Tech bro' Rishi Sunak 'totally in bed' with Silicon Valley, says … – The Telegraph

Lucy Powell, the party’s culture spokesman, says PM is the wrong person to ‘take on vested interests’ as jobs risk being automated by AI
Rishi Sunak is unwilling to defend workers whose jobs risk being automated by artificial intelligence (AI) because he is a “tech bro” who is “in bed” with Silicon Valley, Labour’s shadow culture secretary has said.
Lucy Powell holds the brief for digital, culture, media and sport on the Labour front bench, even though Whitehall was reorganised in February to split culture and digital into two separate departments.
Speaking to The Telegraph about Labour’s approach to AI, she mocked Mr Sunak as a “tech bro” who is incapable of properly regulating the sector because his background studying and working in California has left him too close to Silicon Valley.
“He’s not able to take on some of the vested interests,” she said. “He is very much in the sort of tech bro world.
“I think if you’re totally in bed with the few and the tech bros’ sector, then you can’t really act in the interests of the many.”
She claimed that Mr Sunak’s engagement with the technology sector could have ulterior motives.
“People have said to me: ‘It just feels like he’s sort of lining up a plan B for himself in California if and when he loses the next election,’” she said.
Ms Powell said that if Labour gets into government it would look at regulating large AI models, including the data they are trained on. 
It comes amid concerns that artists, writers, musicians and news organisations are having their work effectively plagiarised by AI platforms.
Ms Powell said Labour was considering a “licensing model”, as well as “markers or other safe watermarks” for AI-generated content.
“You have got these deliberate attempts to rip off people’s copyright, people’s creative endeavour,” she said. “We’ve got to take that to task now before it’s too late.”
She also criticised the Government for failing to tackle AI-generated disinformation in its Online Safety Bill.
However, Labour has also faced questions on misinformation after two of the party’s MPs, Karl Turner and Bill Esterson, shared a doctored photograph of Mr Sunak pulling a pint.
Asked about the controversy, Ms Powell said: “That sort of example just goes to show how easily we can all be misled, duped or think something is one thing, when in fact, it’s another.”
On the BBC, Ms Powell said Labour would make the process for choosing the broadcaster’s chairman “significantly more independent” after Richard Sharp was forced to quit because of his involvement in a loan guarantee to Boris Johnson, the former prime minister.
She said Labour would change the rules so the BBC chairman recruitment panel issued a recommendation on who should get the role, rather than just declaring whether an individual is “appointable”. 
The House of Commons culture, media and sport committee would also get a “binding” power of veto on the prime minister’s choice which the Government “wouldn’t be able to override”.
On sport, she said English cricket should embrace “positive discrimination” by ditching the Eton vs Harrow fixture at Lord’s and replacing it with an England women’s Test match next year.
In March, the Marylebone Cricket Club backed down on a controversial proposal to move the Eton vs Harrow match away from the home of cricket following a backlash from some members.
The fixture, which stretches back to 1805, will continue to be played at Lord’s until at least 2028.
At the same time, the MCC and the English and Wales Cricket Board have received criticism for failing to host a single women’s Test at Lord’s, although the ECB has committed to scheduling one by 2026.
Ms Powell said: “I say to the ECB: ‘Look, just get with the programme on this really, guys.’ Because, you know, there are a lot of guys.
“It’s about time that English women’s international cricket was given some equal billing there.
“Get on with it – arrange a game for Lord’s next year. I don’t see why that can’t be done. I’m sure it’s not fully booked.
“And if it is, kick out the Eton and Harrow annual matches and you’ll get yourself a slot.”
She added: “The traditions of sport, especially a game like cricket are really important. But the traditions of elitism are not ones you want to retain.”
Referring to the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket – which highlighted racism, sexism and elitism in the English game – she said there was a role for “positive discrimination” in modernising the sport.
She said: “You can’t address these issues of inclusivity, of diversity, of breaking down these elitist concepts and pathways, which we clearly have in cricket, you can’t do that unless you’ve got a really clear strategy about how you’re going to do it.
“And part of that does include sometimes some positive discrimination, whether that’s towards women wanting to play the game, whether that’s a clear strategy and plan about supporting kids in state schools accessing the game.”
An ECB spokesman said: “The Women’s Future Tour Programme is now set until 2025 and with only a few other nations playing Women’s Test matches, 2026 is the first availability to host a Women’s Test match at Lord’s, which is something we’re very keen to do.”


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