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Government publishes principles for AI regulation

19/07/22

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The UK government has produced a set of principles for the future regulation of artificial intelligence.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence have published a policy paper outlining the plans.

They said this should make clear what is acceptable in developing and using AI systems, with a balance of encouraging innovation while ensuring security and building public trust in how data is used.

First of the principles is that future regulation should be context-specific, based on the use of AI and its impact on individuals, groups and businesses within a particular context. Responsibility for designing and implementing regulatory responses will be delegated to relevant regulators.

Second is to be pro-innovation, with regulators asked to focus on high risk concerns, as attention on low or hypothetical risk could lead to missed opportunities.

Cross-sector coherence

Third is to provide coherence through a set of cross-sectoral principles tailored to the characteristics of AI, with regulators asked to interpret, prioritise and implement them within their sectors. The departments publishing the policy paper said they will work with the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum to co-ordinate the work.

Fourthly, it should all be proportionate and adaptable, working on a non-statutory basis with regulators asked to consider lighter touch options such as guidance or voluntary measures.

The document says this is in with the regulatory principles of the Better Regulation Framework.

Digital Minister Damian Collins said: “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.

“It is vital that our rules offer clarity to businesses, confidence to investors and boost public trust. Our flexible approach will help us shape the future of AI and cement our global position as a science and tech superpower.”

DCMS has also published a progress report on the action plan within the National AI Strategy, including several projects based on the public sector’s capacity to create demand for new solutions.

 

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