NEWS27 October 2023

Ada Lovelace Institute publishes AI evidence review

AI News Public Sector Technology UK

UK – With the UK set to host an AI safety summit, the Ada Lovelace Institute has published an independent evidence review on public attitudes about artificial intelligence, saying that the public view is often “overlooked or absent” in decisions about it.

Focus group

The report brings together evidence from the Institute and other sources on the question: ‘What do the public think about AI?’

It also outlines methods for involving the public in AI decision-making, including evidence from existing deliberative practices, with the aim of assisting policymakers to “meaningfully” involve the public in current and future decision-making, the Ada Lovelace Institute said.

It came as the prime minister announced that the UK would establish an AI safety institute to test new types of AI. 

Rishi Sunak said the body would explore the risks of AI, “from social harms like bias and misinformation, through to the most extreme risks of all.”

Speaking yesterday ( 26th October), ahead of the UK-hosted AI summit at Bletchley Park next week, Sunak said he would propose the establishment of a “global expert panel” to publish a report on the state of AI science.

The Ada Lovelace Institute rapid review finds that people have positive attitudes to some uses of AI but there are concerns about using AI to make decisions that have substantial consequences for people’s everyday lives, for example, job recruitment or access to financial support.

Octavia Reeve, associate director at the Ada Lovelace Institute, said: “Understanding public attitudes towards AI, and how to involve people in AI decision-making, is becoming ever-more urgent in the UK and internationally.

“Governing AI requires the meaningful involvement of people and communities, particularly those most affected by technologies. We hope that our rapid review will support and guide policymakers at this significant time for AI governance.”

Anna Colom, public participation and research lead at the institute, added: “Decisions about AI cannot be made legitimately without the views and experiences of those most impacted. However, public voices are still frequently overlooked or absent in decision-making.

“Our rapid review provides a timely synthesis of evidence, however there is still a need for more extensive and deeper research and public participation addressing the many uses and impacts of AI across different publics, societies and jurisdictions.”