The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). In the inquiry, MPs will explore how risks posed to the public by the improper use of AI should be addressed, and how the Government can ensure AI is used in an ethical and responsible way.
The Committee seeks evidence on the current governance of AI, whether the Government’s proposed approach is the right one, and how their plans compare with other countries. This follows several recent and important developments in the regulation of AI, both in the UK and abroad:
- the launch of the AI Standards Hub, a new UK initiative dedicated to the evolving and international field of standardisation for AI technologies. The AI Standards Hub is led by The Alan Turing Institute in partnership with the British Standards Institution and the National Physical Laboratory. The initiative is supported by the UK Government through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Digital Standards team and the Office for AI
- publication of the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority's discussion paper on the use of AI and machine learning in financial services
- publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s guidance on artificial intelligence in public services, which explains that the Public Sector Equality Duty applies when a public body uses AI
- the launch of the first regulatory sandbox on AI by the government of Spain and the European Commission. The sandbox aims to bring competent authorities close to companies that develop AI to define best practices that will guide the implementation of the future European Commission's AI Regulation (the Artificial Intelligence Act)
MPs will examine the potential impacts of biased algorithms in the public and private sectors. A lack of transparency on how AI is applied and how automated decisions can be challenged will also be investigated. The inquiry invites written submissions by 25 November 2022.
Whilst we expect the law and regulation of AI will expand significantly, providers are reminded that automated decision-making (including profiling) is already restricted under data protection legislation.
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Chair of Science and Technology Committee, said: “AI is already transforming almost every area of research and business. It has extraordinary potential but there are concerns about how the existing regulatory system is suited to a world of AI. With machines making more and more decisions that impact people’s lives, it is crucial we have effective regulation in place. In our inquiry we look forward to examining the Government’s proposals in detail.”