26 April 2023
Radar - April 2023 – 2 of 3 Insights
The UK published its National AI Strategy in September 2021, setting out a ten-year plan to "make Britain a global AI superpower". In July 2022, DCMS announced its AI Action Plan, again, part of its National AI Strategy. An AI paper set out proposed rules based on six principles for regulators to apply with flexibility in order to support innovation while ensuring use of AI is safe and avoids unfair bias. Rather than centralising AI regulation, the government proposed allowing different regulators to take a tailored, more contextual approach to the use of AI, based on sandboxes, guidance and codes of practice.
In March 2023, after some delay, the UK government published its White Paper – 'A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation', which sets out a framework for the UK's approach to regulating AI. The government has decided not to legislate to create a single function to govern the regulation of AI. It has elected to support existing regulators develop a sector-focused, principles based approach. Regulators including the ICO, the CMA, the FCA, Ofcom, the Health and Safety Executive and the Human Rights Commission will be required to consider the following five principles to build trust and provide clarity for innovation:
UK regulators will publish non-statutory guidance over the next year which will also include practical tools like risk assessment templates, and standards. The guidance will need to be pro-innovation, proportionate, trustworthy, adaptable, clear and collaborative, underpinned by the following four core elements of the government's AI framework:
Further elements to be considered by regulators are set out in Annex A.
The government also supports the findings of the Vallance Review published earlier in March, which looked at the approach to regulating emerging and digital technologies. With regard to AI, Sir Patrick Vallance recommended:
Interestingly, while providing for a regulatory sandbox, the AI White Paper does not set out further policy on the relationship between IP and generative AI although the Intellectual Property Office is working on a code of practice which is expected to be ready by the Summer.
The government has also published:
The government will monitor the effectiveness of this policy and of the resulting guidance, and consider whether it is necessary to introduce legislation to support compliance with the guidance. It intends to publish an AI regulatory roadmap which will set out plans for establishing central government functions for the four elements of the AI framework. The government also plans to publish a draft AI risk register for consultation, an updated roadmap and a monitoring and evaluation report some time after March 2024.
Given the fragmented approach to regulating AI, coupled with the different approaches in different jurisdictions (for example, the European Commission is working on an AI Act by way of top-down legislation), not to mention the pace of technological developments, those developing and using AI will need to pay close attention to worldwide developments.
Watch out for our next edition of Interface which will look at UK policy on AI in more detail and at how it compares with other approaches. Sign up here to receive Interface.
26 April 2023
26 April 2023
12 April 2023
by Multiple authors
by Louise Popple and Debbie Heywood