NEWS1 September 2023

UK must regulate AI or risk falling behind, MPs say

AI News Privacy Public Sector UK

UK – An artificial intelligence (AI) law will be needed as soon as possible to prevent the UK falling behind the US and EU on AI governance and regulation, a committee of MPs has warned.


An interim report published by the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee set out 12 challenges that future AI governance must meet to secure public safety and confidence in the technology.

The 12 challenges include the need to address issues of bias introduce or perpetuated by AI, privacy issues and the ability of AI to produce material that could misrepresent someone’s behaviour, opinions or character.

Other challenges include access to data and access to computer power for AI, both of which are held by a few organisations, and the ‘black box’ challenge where AI models and tools cannot explain why they produce a particular result, which impacts on transparency.

Intellectual property and copyright, the need for open source code to promote transparency and innovation, liability for any harms, international coordination and employment are other challenges that need to be addressed, the MPs said.

Finally, the government must consider whether AI is a threat to national security, and how best to mitigate those risks.

Delay would risk the UK falling behind other jurisdictions, which could lead to a different approach becoming established from which it is then difficult to deviate, the interim report concluded.

In its white paper of March 2023, the Government said that it anticipated the need to legislate to introduce AI governance, although the committee said that legislation should be put to parliament in its next session before the next general election.

The government is running an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park in November around the subject of AI, and the committee called for a wide range of attendees with an aim to “advance a shared international understanding of the challenges of AI as well as its opportunities”.

Science, Innovation and Technology Committee chair Greg Clark MP said: “AI is full of opportunities, but also contains many important risks to long-established and cherished rights – ranging from personal privacy to national security – that people will expect policymakers to guard against.

“If the government’s ambitions are to be realised and its approach is to go beyond talks, it may well need to move with greater urgency in enacting the legislative powers it says will be needed.

“We will study the government’s response to our interim report, and the AI white paper consultation, with interest, and will publish a final set of policy recommendations in due course.”