Artificial Intelligence in the UK: ready, willing and able?

By Andrew White, Charlie Cazalet


A panel from the 'House of Lords', the second chamber of the UK parliament, has recently released its report on AI titled, AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?.

Its 181 page long report focuses on the development of Artificial Intelligence in the UK, with a strong emphasis on ethics. It recommends (unsurprisingly) that the government should support businesses to allow the UK to become a leader in developing AI. It cautions against the monopolisation of AI by a small number of tech giants and states that there is no need to create an AI-regulator. The report advocates greater personal data control, AI transparency, the introduction of AI into the educational curriculum, targeted use of AI within the public domain (in particular by the NHS), the investigation of potential issues relating to AI and liability laws, and a coordinated approach to government AI policy in the UK.

The report also proposes the creation of a cross-sector 'AI Code', to be adopted nationally and internationally. This code would be based on the following five principles:

  1. AI should be developed for the common good and benefit of humanity.
  2. AI should operate on principles of intelligibility and fairness.
  3. AI should not be used to diminish the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities.
  4. All citizens should have the right to be educated to enable them to flourish mentally, emotionally and economically alongside AI.
  5. The autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings should never be vested in AI.

In a sense, these principles aren't very controversial: the challenge is how to implement them in practice.

A link to an overview of the report, and the report itself, can be found here.