The Government has launched its AI regulation White Paper, to guide the use of artificial intelligence in the UK by striking a balance between regulation and innovation.

Five principles will guide AI

Five principles - safety, transparency, fairness, accountability and contestability - should shape the use of AI, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) said.

The plan would use existing regulators from various sectors instead of giving responsibility for AI governance to a new single regulator.

It is hoped this approach will result in consistency throughout the regulatory landscape and rules which can quickly adapt as technology continues to develop at speed.

The proposals for regulation will focus on the use of AI, rather than the technology itself.

The UK’s AI industry employed over 50,000 people and contributed £3.7 billion to the economy last year; Chatbots like ChatGPT are already mainstream.

AI professionals with shared values

BCS’ statement, stressing the vital importance of professional standards in AI, was quoted in the government’s announcement of the proposals, alongside Microsoft, Rolls Royce, DeepMind and techUK.

Rashik Parmar MBE, Chief Executive of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “AI is transforming how we learn, work, manage our health, discover our next binge-watch and even find love.

“The government’s commitment to helping UK companies become global leaders in AI, while developing within responsible principles, strikes the right regulatory balance.

“As we watch AI growing up, we welcome the fact that our regulation will be cross-sectoral and more flexible than that proposed in the EU, while seeking to lead on aligning approaches between international partners.

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“It is right that the risk of use, not the technology itself, is regulated. It is also positive that the paper proposes a central function to help monitor developments and identify risks. Similarly, the proposed multi-regulator sandbox [a safe testing environment] will help break down barriers and remove obstacles.

“We need to remember this future will be delivered by AI professionals - people - who believe in shared ethical values.

“Managing the risk of AI and building public trust is most effective when the people creating it work in an accountable and professional culture, rooted in world-leading standards and qualifications.”

BCS will be working with its membership community to respond to the government’s consultation on the plans, which has a deadline of 21 June this year.