UK to unveil new AI regulation
The UK government is proposing a new “AI rulebook” which aims to boost innovation and public trust in technology.
According to Westminster, more needs to be done to harness the economic and societal benefits of artificial intelligence while also addressing the complications it presents.
The announcement comes as the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) begins its investigation into the potential discrimination AI maintains, such as concerns over the use of algorithms to filter recruitment applications.
It also follows the new Digital Information Bill introduced to parliament that will, according to the government, look to “seize the benefits of Brexit” by promoting a high standard of protection for people’s privacy and personal data. The government did not specify how this will be achieved, although the new law could allow for divergence from the EU’s GDPR initiative.
The government said that this year predicted more than 1.3 million UK businesses will be using AI and investing over £200 billion in the technology by 2040, however the existing laws that apply to AI may be hard for smaller businesses to navigate. It also noted that current approaches are full of inconsistencies and gaps which make the rules tricky to understand and put into practise.
What can be expected from the new AI regulation?
The government said that establishing “clear”, “innovation-friendly” and “flexible” approaches to regulating AI will be central to boost growth and innovation whilst ensuring people are kept safe.
Digital Minister Damian Collins explained: “We want to make sure the UK has the right rules to empower businesses and protect people as AI and the use of data keeps changing the ways we live and work.”
The approach reflects six core principles which regulators must apply, these are: Ensure that AI is used safely; Ensure that AI is technically secure and functions as designed; Make sure that AI is appropriately transparent and explainable; Consider fairness; Identify a legal person to be responsible for AI, and clarify routes to redress or contestability.
Instead of awarding the responsibility of AI governance to a central regulatory body, as the EU is doing through its AI Act, the government’s proposal will allow different regulators to take a tailored approach to the use of AI in a range of settings, as it is keen to avoid “unnecessary” barriers being placed on businesses but at the same time make sure AI is fair.
Regulators such as Ofcom, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will be asked to implement the principles.
The government is also publishing the first AI Action Plan today to show how it is delivering against the National AI Strategy and identifying new priorities for the year ahead.
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