The UK government has set out proposals for a new AI rulebook to unleash innovation and boost public trust in the technology, according to a policy paper published today by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The report outlines the government’s approach to regulating the technology in the UK, with proposed rules addressing future risks and opportunities so businesses are clear how they can develop and use AI systems, and consumers are confident they are safe and robust.
This comes as the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is introduced to Parliament, which includes measures to use AI responsibly while reducing compliance burdens on businesses to boost the economy. Regulators like Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will oversee AI in a range of contexts.
The proposals set out “an ambitious ten-year plan” for the UK to remain a globally leading AI superpower, with the country already dominant in the sector evidenced by its notable history of innovation. The paper asserts, however, that more can be done to utilize the significant “economic and societal benefits of AI” while concurrently addressing the “complex challenges it presents.” The paper continued by highlighting that while the UK has a distinguished and effective regulatory system – highly regarded in its “rule of law and support for innovation” – there’s a need to keep up with the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities that AI presents, which is paramount in remaining globally competitive.
The policy paper’s pro-innovation framework for regulating AI is underpinned by four cross-sectoral principles, tailored to the “specific characteristics of AI”. These are:
- Pro-innovation and risk-based.
- Proportionate and adaptable.
This new framework was welcomed by industry experts such as Professor Dame Wendy Hall, acting chair of the AI Council, who said: “This is critical to driving responsible innovation and supporting our AI ecosystem to thrive. The AI Council looks forward to working with government on the next steps to develop the whitepaper.”
The paper culminated in inviting stakeholders’ views on the proposed approach to regulating AI and how the UK can maximize the rules for AI regulation in a way that encourages innovation and growth while protecting core values. These views will then be used to inform the development of the forthcoming whitepaper.