A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation

Response to the UK Government’s 12-week consultation on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Catriona Campbell

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On 29 March 2023, the UK Government launched a 12-week consultation on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This white paper, entitled ‘A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation’, is the next step after the UK Science and Technology Framework identified AI as one of five technologies critical to future economic growth.

At EY we understand that the use of AI poses new risks and accentuates old ones, including the potential for discrimination, infringement of privacy, and damage to mental and physical health — if unmanaged, these will undermine public trust.

Recognising the speed at which AI technology is moving, before legislating, the UK Government is proposing to implement a framework, based on five principles:

  • Safety, security and robustness
  • Appropriate transparency and explainability
  • Fairness
  • Accountability and governance
  • Contestability and redress

Existing regulators will be responsible for managing the principles, as part of their current sectoral remit. Designed to enable innovation, not stifle it, the principles provide consistency for regulators while also allowing flexibility. Guidance on the implementation of each principle is provided within the white paper.

Based on industry feedback, the framework also includes a small support function, primarily designed to help regulators close any gaps between existing regulatory remits.

Proposed activity includes monitoring and evaluating the framework’s effectiveness, providing a test bed/sandbox for AI innovators, horizon scanning for emerging issues, and education. The aim is to have the first of these in place by early 2024.

The framework will continue to evolve using feedback from the white paper consultation process, as well as emerging evidence from UK industry and insights from international partners.

We welcome any move that supports industry and innovation, and we invite our clients and suppliers to provide feedback directly on the UK government website.

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Catriona Campbell

Behavioural psychologist; AI-quisitive; EY UK&I Client Technology & Innovation Officer. Views my own & don't represent EY’s position. catrionacampbell.com