Policy Manager for Data Analytics, Policy Connect
The government has promised to make the UK a global artificial intelligence (AI) superpower. How can we build on our strengths, face the challenges, and create a reliable AI sector?
The UK excels at AI. We rank third in the world at developing AI technologies. We saw investment grow by £9 billion between 2019 and 2021—receiving more investment in AI companies than France and Germany combined in 2021.
Regulation for innovation
There is a huge opportunity for the UK to lead the way internationally in this rapidly developing technology.
However, for AI to reach its full potential, the public needs to know that these systems are trustworthy. The way to build that trust is through regulation. Done well, regulation can support and encourage innovation by creating an environment where new ideas flourish.
Growing trust in AI
The government has recognised the importance of creating this environment in its recent AI Strategy and AI Action Plan.
The government has taken some first steps. The Alan Turing Institute—the UK’s national data institute—has set up an AI Standards Hub, shaping standards to create trustworthy AI.
The government is also investing £100 million in 16 new AI centres, including funding 1,000 doctorate degrees over five years across the country. This enables the nation to harness the skills of experts to develop new technologies that benefit the whole economy.
But there is still more to be done.
Through our work with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics, we bring parliamentarians together with businesses and academia to discuss the potential of AI.
For AI to reach its full potential, the public needs to know that these systems are trustworthy.
Transparency in technology
We know that businesses are ready to grasp the opportunities AI can bring with both hands. The government must now do the same.
The government is due to publish an AI governance white paper later this year, setting out a clear pathway to effective AI governance.
This white paper needs to be honest about the risks and challenges that AI can bring. It needs to consider the full AI lifecycle, from development through to deployment, to establish who is responsible for AI at all stages in its life. It should also advocate for a collaborative approach between developers, businesses, and regulators, to make sure everyone can safely use and benefit from AI. The APPG on Data Analytics will be carrying out an inquiry into AI governance, working to inform the white paper and future policy developments to tackle these challenges.